Characters Ezra, Buck, Chris
Disclaimer: Mag 7 isn't mine
Author's Note: this is a continuation on a drabble, and thank you to Enola Jones for doing an awesome job betaing.
Hefting his rucksack onto his shoulder, Buck stared at the small shuttle. "Why can't we take one of ours again?"
Chris sighed, "The ship is in dry dock for repairs, and all the shuttles are getting checked over and upgraded. Lucky us, the station captain is allowing us to use one of his."
"Why are we going on this trip again?"
Looking over at Buck, Chris shook his head. "Josiah feels we need a vacation. Somewhere sunny and relaxing."
Buck sighed, as he ducked into the shuttle. "We couldn't get a bigger one?"
Smirking, Chris easily walked through the door. "Wouldn't be a problem if you weren't so tall."
Buck grinned slightly, "At least I don't have to worry about not being able to reach the storage racks."
Shaking his head, Chris headed to the front of the shuttle. "Just for that, I get to fly and you can put our luggage away."
Shrugging his shoulders, Buck grabbed Chris's bag. "Fine, then I"m taking a nap."
With that, the two men headed to the different parts of the shuttle.
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From a corner of the shuttle bay, a man watched the two officers take off in the shuttle. Smiling to himself, he had to congratulate himself. His plan was working.
After several minutes, the man turned away and headed out of the shuttle bay. He was a busy man, after all.
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Four hours into the flight, Chris was enjoying the feeling of piloting the shuttle craft; something he hadn't done in a long time. What he didn't expect was a warning light to go off two seconds before a shudder ripped through the ship and dropped them out of warp.
As his fingers danced around the controls trying to figure out what had happen, he called back to Buck. "Get up here, there's a problem."
Buck walked in from the back of the shuttle and frowned. "What's going on?"
"I don't know, we were flying fine then we just dropped out of warp and the everything went wild."
Slinging himself into the copilot chair, Buck started to check out the engines. Glaring at the readouts, he shook his head. Moving out of the seat, he moved back slightly and prised a panel off the ship wall. Ducking into it, he cursed. Pulling it back out, he looked at Chris.
"You want the the good news or bad news?"
Shaking his head. Chris growled softly. "Just tell me. We don't have time for this."
Buck sighed. "The good news is I know why we dropped out of warp. The bad news is we dropped out of warp because some idiot doesn't know how to plant a bomb or blow up a shuttle craft."
Chris frowned. "A bomb? Can you disarm it?"
Shaking his head, Buck went back to the navigator's chair. "If I was shorter and could breathe in space, then. yes I could. Part of this bomb is on the outside of the ship."
Chris shook his head. "You see a planet we can land on?"
Scanning the sector, Buck finally nodded. "Yes, it's the only place."
Seeing the coordinates, Chris shrugged his shoulders. "Well, we will get the sun that Josiah wanted."
Grinning, Buck and Chris got quiet as they tried to land the shuttle with the thrusters cutting out on them every couple of minutes.
As they neared the ground, Chris frowned. "We're going to hit hard. Brace yourself for it."
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Ezra was bored. Change that to really bored. He was stuck on the ship, making sure that the repairs that were taking place were being done right. Meanwhile, everyone else was enjoying themselves on the starbase or, in the case of the Captain and second officer, a nice little vacation.
There were times he hated being the second officer. He was missing a galaxy poker tournament for this. Watching an empty ship to make sure repairs were done right and no one tried to steal it.
Sighing at the utter stupidity of the whole thing. Ezra wonder if anyone would notice if he left for awhile to check out the poker tournament.
Just as he made up his mind to leave, the computer chirped at him, letting him know there was someone calling the ship.
Wondering what he had done in a previous life to deserve this, he touched a button on the captain's chair and brought the communique up on the viewscreen. "Yes?"
The alien who appeared on the screen frowned. "Are you Ezra Standish?"
Ezra frowned. "Yes, what can I do for you?"
The alien sighed, "We were waiting for a Mr. Chris Larabee and Buck Wilmington to show up. We were holding some transport for them. They are now four hours late. Do you know if they are actually coming or do they need to cancel? We're busy and need the transport if they don't need it."
Ezra stared at the person for several minutes, the words that she said not making sense in his mind. Finally, he shook his head out of his daze. "What do you mean they haven't arrived yet?"
"Sir, just what I said. Mr. Christopher Larabee and a Buck Wilmington haven't checked in, and they are overdue. I was calling to see if they still needed their reservation?"
Ezra shook his head, getting himself out of his daze. "Whatever you wish, I must be going. Thank you for checking with me."
Ezra cut the communication, no longer paying attention to the alien trying to speak to him. The minute that Ezra had her off the view screen, he tried to communicate with the shuttle that Chris and Buck had taken. After several long minutes of trying to reach them he had no success.
Ezra leaned back from the controls. He was going to kill them. How in the world was he going to find the two officers in space?
Taking a deep breath, he stared at the view screen. He was gong to need to call the rest of the senior crew back. They had to find the missing officers.
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Chris woke up staring at rock. Staring at the rock for several minutes, he tried to remember if the shuttle had any rocks in it. After awhile, his brain cleared and he realized he was staring at the under side of a rock ledge.
Frowning, he tried to figure out how he got there. When nothing came to mind, he sat up. As he looked around, he spotted a shadow in the entrance of the small cave. He was about to say something when the shadow figure spoke up. "You awake Chris?"
"Buck? Yes. What happened?"
"You don't remember the crash?"
Chris was silent for several minutes while he tried to remember. "No, what I remember is that we lost control and something about a bomb?"
Buck walked in, placing the container that he was holding down besides some other supplies. Turning to look at Chris, Buck sighed. "There was a bomb placed by the engines. It was poorly constructed and didn't blow right. It was suppose to get the engines and a hole in the shuttle at the same time. Didn't do that."
Chris frowned. "When did it blow?"
Shifting slightly, Buck sighed. "Right before you crashed. Blew out half the shuttle."
Chris was silent for a minute, trying to see if he could remember any of it. Finally, he shook his head. "I don't remember any of that. You all right?"
Frowning, Chris looked over Buck, at least everything he could see. "Your ribs hurt?"
Buck rolled his eyes. "How's your head?"
"Good, just a slight headache. Now, about your ribs?"
Chris shook his head. "I've seen you enough with busted ribs. How bad are they and did you take anything?"
Buck turned to look at Chris. "Not much left of the medical kit. Seems it got busted in the crash. There were only a few things that I could find."
Chris sighed. "You used it on me and not yourself?"
Buck grinned. "You were unconscious and it would look bad if I let you die."
Growling softly, Chris just glared at his second in command for a second. "I was knocked unconscious. And had bruises. I wasn't the worst hit."
Buck shrugged his shoulders. "Didn't know that at the time. I was running on adrenalin. Besides like you said. It isn't the first time I've had bruised ribs. I'll be fine."
Chris moved over to Buck. "What else is hurt?"
Shifting away from Chris slightly, Buck shrugged his shoulders. "Just some bruises and cuts. Nothing I haven't before."
"How bad are the cuts?"
"I'll be fine."
"That isn't telling me how bad those cuts are."
Buck sighed. "Just a couple of gashes, I bound them up. They stopped bleeding awhile ago."
Rubbing his head with his hand, Chris glared at Buck. "You will lie down and rest, not aggravate your ribs or reopening your cuts.. I don't need you reopening the cuts or landing wrong and getting one of the ribs into your lung."
Grumbling about overprotective Captains. Buck did as he was told. Laying down against the back wall of the cave and sighing, he stared at Chris for several seconds. "So now what?"
Sitting down, Chris shrugged his shoulders. "Hope that the others decide to come looking for us."
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Ezra was not a happy security officer. He was missing his commanding officers and his counterpart on the space station wasn't being any help at all. Shutting down his comm link to the security office on the station, Ezra was wondering if he could just stun the man with a phaser and string him up somewhere.
With a sigh, Ezra knew he couldn't put it off any more. He was going to have to call back the rest of the senior crew from shore leave. There was no way he would be able to investigate everything without some help.
Hovering his finger over the comm link to call the others, Ezra cursed Buck and Chris for a second. This was not a position he should have ever been thrust into. Those two were never going anywhere together again.
With a deep breath, he contacted Vin first. "Vin, I need you back on the ship."
"Why? What's up? Bored already?"
Ezra sighed. "No, though I wish that was the case. Our intrepid leaders have disappeared. They didn't show up at their vacation spot."
"I'll be there in a few minutes. You want me to get the others?"
"No, I'll contact them but get back as soon as you can. We need to find, them."
Agreeing, Vin cut the link. Ezra stared at the console. He had three more people to contact. With a deep sigh, he started to contact the next one.
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Looking outside of the shelter, Chris watched as the suns slowly made their way across the sky. Turning away from it, he turned to Buck, who was still laying down in back of the shelter. "You okay?"
"I told you it was just some hurt ribs and a couple of gashes. I don't need to stay laying down."
Chris shook his head at the comment. "If you start to walk around, knowing our luck you will trip, fall and push one of those broken ribs into your lung."
Buck huffed slightly, "That was only once, and it wasn't my fault that I tripped."
"It wasn't your fault. You decided that that you needed to go out and look for people, in the middle of a storm."
"Saved you sorry ass though, didn't I?"
Glaring at Buck, Chris finally nodded. "Alright, I'll give you that, but there isn't anyone to go looking for. All we can do is wait. So, you might as well just relax."
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"I'm going to kill that man."
Looking up from his screen, Josiah frowned. "Ezra, who do you want to kill and why?"
"My counterpart on the station. He seems to feel that missing a Captain and a commander isn't as important as doing his normal rounds."
JD turned around and look at the security chief. "Do we know this guy's name?"
Vin frowned for a moment, then spoke. "I know that name. He was the guy that wanted to be Chris's first officer. He was mad that Chris didn't even bother talk to him or read his file."
Ezra looked at the Vulcan. "I never heard this."
Vin shrugged his shoulders. "It came up in a conversation."
Ezra frowned. "Anything you can tell me about this man?"
"Nope, Chris thought the guy was an idiot and couldn't command if he needed to," Vin stated.
Ezra turned to JD. "Can you dig up information on this Loodje Aren? Make sure that he doesn't find out about it."
JD grinned. "Yes, shouldn't be a problem. You want all the information?"
Ezra nodded. "Everything, even the stuff that isn't officially in his file."
Smiling, JD turned to the computer and started digging into the man's past.
Turing to the rest of the group. Ezra smiled. "While JD is doing that, the rest of us will see if we can figure out where Chris and Buck went down."
With a nod, the group got to working on the two problems.
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Chris could feel the frustration at the situation grow inside him. He hated being stuck, not able to do anything, but wait for someone to find them.
Walking to the entrance of the overhang, Chris stared at the four suns in the sky. Ducking back behind the shelter they were using for shade, he growled, "Whose bright idea was it to tell Travis we needed some time with some sun again?"
Barely lifting his head up from where he was resting, Buck spoke up. "Josiah. He felt that we needed to get some real sunlight and air instead of ships recycle air."
Settling himself next to Buck at the back of the shelter, Chris sighed. "Remind me to shoot him after we get out of this."
"Not if I do it before you."
Chris smiled at the comment. "Hopefully they'll find us soon, then I can get my hands on the person who placed the bomb."
Shrugging his shoulders, Buck laid back down. "Don't know, its not like we haven't made any enemies."
Chris had to nod in agreement.
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Ezra looked around the table. "What have we learn about Loodje Aren?"
JD was the first to speak up. "Nothing interesting in his official Starfleet file. He's an fine officer. Does his job, gets average reviews. Nothing outstanding or unique."
Ezra nodded, "What about unofficially?"
JD grinned. "He has blackmailed most of the various businesses on the space station. He seems to have his fingers in the various black market trades on the station. He doesn't have a problem with throwing people into jail and taking bribes under the table."
Josiah spoke up at the information. "Would he be able to create a bomb on the shuttle?"
JD frowned for a moment in thought. "Yes, and if he didn't know how to himself, he would know who to get the bomb from."
Ezra turned to look at Josiah. "You have an idea about this person?"
The counselor nodded. "After reading about him, I think he is the one that sabotaged the shuttle. He's angry at Chris and Buck. He sees them as the two people who wrecked his career. He doesn't realize that he's an average officer with the tendency to believe that everyone adds to their income. He would see Chris and Buck as everything he thinks is wrong and what held him back. Chris because he didn't pick him, and Buck for getting his job."
Ezra nodded. "I have to agree. The question is, how do we prove it?"
The group nodded. With that bit done, Ezra looked over at Vin. "Have you figured anything out about where they might have gone down?"
Vin pulled up the path that the shuttle would have gone. "I contacted a couple of planets along the path, they haven't had any distress ships or odd explosions. My best guess would be that they are in this system, though they may have crashed in a few others. The only inhabitable planet in the system is Vier Hoeken IV. Its a desert planet, barely class M. That would be my best bet to find them."
Ezra stared at the readout of the planet. "Alright, the engineers have said that the Peso can be taken out. Nathan, Vin, you two will take the Peso out there. Scan the other possibilities are you go. Most likely one or both are hurt."
Nathan nodded. "I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't hurt. Hopefully, if they landed they still had their first aid kit."
Ezra nodded. "The rest of us will be looking for proof against Arden. He will not get away with it."
With that, the group separated and got ready for their separate missions.
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Taking a drink of water, Chris sloshed the container, frowning at the half empty sound of it. "You've been drinking?"
Buck eyed Chris for a second. "Yes."
"No, one haven't. At least, not your share."
Buck eyed Chris for a second, trying to gauge what he would say next. Finally, he sighed. "I took enough. We don't have that much water, and we don't know when the others will find us."
Chris glared at his first officer. "So, you felt that to make sure that at least one of us got out of here, you would only drink enough water so I wouldn't get suspicious and you make sure that I get as much water as I needed?"
"Well, yes, and it was working. Besides, my job is to make sure that you stay safe and get out of these things alive."
"Don't...There is plenty of water and food. Starving or not drinking isn't going to change anything."
Buck winced as he shrugged his shoulders. "Haven't been all that hungry or thirsty anyhow."
Shaking his head, Chris moved closer to Buck. "Doesn't matter if you're not thirsty, you need to drink."
Buck eyed Chris. "I'm fine."
Grinning slightly, Chris just tilted Buck's shoulders and head up and put the container of water in front of Buck's mouth. "Drink or else."
With a sigh, Buck took some water until Chris was happy with the amount.
"Good, now we don't have to worry about conserving anything. The others will get here soon."
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Lt. Commander Aren was happy. His plan had worked. The crew of the Maverick were looking for their missing officer. No one knew that it was him. He was getting his revenge. Humming to himself, he started looking through the reports.
It was sometime later when he heard the chime to his office ring.
Looking up, he frowned and called out. "Enter."
As the door open, he was rather surprise to see the security officer from the Maverick in the doorway. "What can I do for you?"
Sitting down on a a nearby chair, Ezra looked at the other security chief. "I've been trying to contact you. You've been avoiding me."
Loodje shrugged his shoulders. "I'm sorry about that, but keeping on top of crime and criminal actives on this station takes a lot of time. And I don't have time for irresponsible starfleet officers who get lost on a simple trip in space."
"We believe that the shuttle they were using was sabotaged."
Loodje nodded, "So, who do you think sabotaged the shuttle?"
"We believe that it would be you."
The security officer laughed. "Me? Why would I do something like that? I don't even know your two officers."
"That is rather odd, considering that how much you tried to get Captain Larabee to pick you for his first officer. Must been a blow when he didn't even respond to you and picked an old friend instead."
Loodje stared at the Maverick security officer. "It didn't matter to me. There would be other chances."
"Yes, there might be, but this was your best chance. New ships aren't made everyday."
Loodje, stared at Ezra, "What do you want? I'm a busy man."
"I was hoping that you would have the recordings from the shuttle bay for the last few days."
"Unfortunately, those cameras were damaged in a fight a few days before you got here and haven't been repaired."
Ezra stared at the man. "I see. Would you have an idea who might want to kill Captain Larabee and Commander Wilmington?"
"No, But from what I heard they had a lot of enemies. Especially Larabee. Its not surprising that someone wanted him dead."
Ezra nodded. "Very true. Well, thank you for your time."
As the Maverick security officer got up to leave the room, he paused for a second. "You know, it's interesting that you said all the cameras had stopped working, but it seemed not all of them. There was one that still worked. "
Loodje paused, "What do you mean one was working?"
"Well, it seemed that when I couldn't get hold of you, I contacted Captain Connor. He allowed me access into the security cameras. Going through the various recordings, we found one in the shuttle bay."
Loodje shifted slightly. "Does it show you who placed the bomb?"
Ezra shrugged his shoulders. "We haven't finished looking at all of the recordings"
Just as that was said, Ezra's communicator beeped. "I'm sorry, let me just take this. "
Hitting the communicator, Ezra spoke, "Yes, JD?"
"I found it, just cleaning it up a bit. But I should have a good look at the man."
"Great job, JD. I will be there shortly."
As Ezra made to tap his communicator again, he paused when he saw Loodje pointing a phaser at him. "I suggest you have your Ensign destroy that tape."
Ezra frowned at the phaser. "I thought you had nothing to worry about?"
"I thought I did. Now contact him and destroy the evidence."
"I will, if you tell me why?"
Loodje shrugged his shoulders. "I hate him. Chris Larabee ruined my career, all so he could have an old friend as his number one. I was the next one in line. I should have been able to get that position. But he passed my record by for a womanizing Risan. He doesn't deserve it. Starfleet shouldn't have even allowed him to join. Chris Larabee wreck my career to give an old friend a job he didn't deserve. I hope they're both dead."
Ezra stared at the security officer, shaking his head. He called out, "Is that enough proof?"
Through the back part of the office where the cells were, the Captain of the base walked out. "That is more then enough. Commander Aren, you are relieved of duty and are under arrest for the attempt murder of Captain Christopher Larabee and Commander Buck Wilmington."
Loodje turned and stared at the Captain. "They're alive?"
Ezra answered that question. "As far as we know they are, and they better be."
The Captain of the base nodded. "With his confession and the evidence you found, we should be able to put him away. You can head back to your ship. Let us know if you find them."
Ezra nodded. Glaring at Loodje one more time, he headed back to the ship, hoping he would hear that Nathan and Vin had found their missing crew.
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Nathan and Vin had been looking for signs of a crash on a dozen or so planets. Each negative result worried them a little more.
Nathan got up and grabbed more coffee. "We're coming up on your best guess. You sure about this?"
Vin sighed, checking the computer. "Yes, it is the only one class M planet in the sector. Barely class M."
With a nod, Nathan settled back in his chair Turning to the console he started to scan the planet. When the computer beeped. Nathan blinked at it for a second. With a quick breath, he scanned the area again. Smiling now, he turned to Vin. "I found them."
Vin turned to Nathan. "You found them?"
"Yes, I found the shuttle -- or what's left of the shuttle. But I'm also getting two life signs."
Smiling, Vin moved the Peso to orbit above the spot where the life signs were coming from. "Shall I beam down to check?"
Nathan nodded. "I can keep an eye on the ship. Stay in contact though."
With a nod, Vin grabbed the supplies he thought he would need. "Once I find them, I'll let you know so you can beam me up."
Nathan nodded. With a last look, Vin beamed down to the surface.
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Stopping at the destroyed shuttle, Vin couldn't image anyone living through it. The shuttle's debris was scatter through a mile-wide swath of land. Taking a deep breath and shaking his head, he scanned the area with his tricoder. Finding the life signs, he headed for a small ledge that created a small cave.
Walking towards it, he paused at the entrance. Taking a step in, he stopped at the scene before his eyes.
Buck was laying slightly raised on his back. His eyes were closed. Chris was leaning against the wall next to Buck with his eyes closed.
Moving closer, he knocked an empty container in his path. The loud rattle of the bottle hitting the wall of the cave caused movement from the two individuals on the ground.
Chris' eyes opened suddenly, as he scanned the area from where the noise was. Rising quickly, he took a few steps towards the shadowy figure. Just as he was about to hit the figure, he recognized the profile. "Vin?"
"Yes, Chris, are you okay? How's Buck?"
Moving, towards Buck, Chris sighed. "He's resting. He has a couple of busted ribs and what else I don't know. You didn't happen to bring Nate with you?"
Vin smiled. "Actually, we did. You guys ready to leave?"
Chris smiled. "Yes, I think we've had enough sun for awhile."
"Good, I know there's some people who are worried about you. Think we can wake Buck?"
"Buck is awake. If you two weren't so noisy. About time that you got here, elf."
"I thought I said not to call me elf?"
Buck grinned. "I'm injured. Be nice."
Snorting slightly, Vin moved over towards Buck. "You need help to get up, or should we just beam up like that?"
"Help me up. Its just some hurt ribs." Buck said as he started to struggle to sit up.
Chris frowned. "What did I say about getting up?"
Buck paused for a second. "I'm not going to wander anywhere, but I could stand to be beamed out of this place."
Vin shared a glance with Chris, who finally nodded, and went and helped Buck stand. As the three were ready to beam up. Chris looked over at Vin. "So who planted the bomb?"
Before Vin could answer, they were beamed up.
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Dragging himself up from sleep, he frowned as he peeled his eyes open. Looking around the room, it took him a minute to recognize the room as sickbay. As he stared at the ceiling, he tried to remember how he had gotten here. Closing his eyes for a moment, he reopened them and blinked as a face now hovered over him.
The young ensign grinned. "You're awake."
Struggling for a second and with the help of JD, Buck sat up and leaned against some pillows and the wall. "How did I get here?"
"Nathan and Vin found you."
JD nodded. "He's fine, you're the one who's been sleeping for two days."
Buck stared at JD. "Two days? I wasn't that badly hurt."
"Yes you were. You had broken ribs and your gashes were bleeding the entire time you were on the planet. Then you didn't drink enough to replace the liquids you lost. Plus your wrenched shoulder and ankle that you didn't tell anyone about."
Buck blinked at JD. "I forgot about those."
Buck had the grace to look rather sheepish. "Sorry? But I had other things on my mind."
Shaking his head, JD sat back down. Before JD could say anything Buck spoke up. "So where is Chris?"
"He's working. He's taking care of the final refit of the Maverick."
Nodding, Buck gazed around the room. "So, who bombed the shuttle?"
Knowing that Buck was changing the subject, JD sighed. "Ezra figured out that it was the security officer. He blamed Chris for not picking him as first officer."
"So, he tried to kill Chris?"
JD nodded. "And you. Seems he felt that you both were to blame."
Nodding in agreement, Buck had to ask. "So, when do I get out of here?"
JD frowned. "Not until Nate says you can-- and from what Chis said that'll be never or until you learn your lesson."
Raising an eyebrow, Buck frowned. "Lesson?"
"Yes, the one where you tell the person you're stranded with all your injuries and you take your share of the water and food."
Wincing at the tone, Buck turned to Chris who was standing in the doorway. Noticing Era standing behind the Captain, Buck sighed. "I wasn't hungry or thirsty."
Chris shook his head. "Doesn't matter. You know better."
With a sigh, Buck grinned at Ezra. "So, how did you like being in command?"
Ezra shook his head. "You two never get to go anywhere together again. I do not want to be in charge like that ever again."
Before Buck could reply, another voice spoke up. "What are you all doing? I said you could visit him if you didn't wake him up."
The group turned to see a rather angry Nate. "But I'm awake."
Nathan blinked for a second. "Good, then I can check you over. The rest of you can come back later."
With a nod, the rest of the group left, leaving Buck at the mercies of Nathan