Uninspired Voyages

A Star Trek: Voyager fanfiction by Andrew J. Talon

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan based work of prose. Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation et al are the property of CBS Television, Paramount and the creation of Gene Roddenberry. Please support the official release.

Tuvok raised an eyebrow at Shepherd as the Vulcan entered the armory. The human was already there, holding up one of the new Mark III Point V Assault Phaser Rifle. He turned it on, and shivered in bliss at the light hum the weapon made.

"Ohhh, baby," he murmured. "Purr for me, baby... Yes... Behind your unassuming exterior, you're such a dirty, dirty girl..." He nuzzled the barrel of the rifle.

Tuvok stared. Shepherd blinked, looked over at his superior officer, and slowly set the phaser rifle down on the tactical planning table that was in the center of the room.

"... That's an Andorian ritual for bonding with our weapons," he said calmly. "As I went to the Andorian Annex of Starfleet Academy."

"I said nothing," Tuvok stated. "However, I would suggest you keep such... Rituals to a minimum in front of the crew."

Shepherd nodded back.

"Yes, you're absolutely right sir," Shepherd replied.

"You had the proposed security protocol upgrades for me?" Tuvok asked, though it felt more like an order. More than likely he just wanted to move past that unfortunate incident. Well, Shepherd wasn't complaining.

"Yes sir!" Shepherd replied. He went to one of the numerous storage lockers, and pulled out a black overjacket. He set it on the tactical planning table in front of him.

"Standard issue Mark IV Energy Weapon Dispersal Jacket. Commonly called the 'flak jacket'. Temperature controlled. Can withstand a full powered disruptor or phaser blast at point blank range with a 96 percent probability of survival for the wearer." He then pulled the jacket on. "Ah, fits like a glove. And pockets!"

"Pockets?" Tuvok asked.

Shepherd nodded. "Yes sir. I looked up the replicator specifications and the regulations, and it's perfectly fine to have the pocket option on your uniforms."

Tuvok continued to stare in silence. Shepherd blinked.

"You did... Know that, right sir?"

"... Let us continue," Tuvok said. "The Dispersal Jacket as standard issue?"

"Well sir, we don't know what kind of energy weapons we may be up against," Shepherd said, "and frankly I think everybody would feel a lot safer with it on. Well all our security personnel. We can probably work on something better as things go on and we get more resources-A kind of general purpose hazard suit maybe? But for now, this is the best we can do."

Tuvok nodded. "Acceptable. Next?"

Shepherd pulled out a small boxy device with a strap. He affixed it to his shoulder, and it bonded with the flak jacket's adaptable fabrics. He hit the power button, and a shimmering forcefield flashed into existence, like a second skin, all over his body.

"Mark III Personal Force Field Generator," Shepherd continued. "Now, the standard practice when the power cell runs out is to turn it off and let it recharge. But that can take up to 10 seconds, which can be really bad."

"Indeed," Tuvok observed. Shepherd beamed.

"But! It turns out there's a faster way." He reached up and pressed a button. The powercell popped out, and Shepherd slid in a new one. "One second! It can also protect against radiation and other environmental hazards. Again, we'll come up with improvements but this is a good start."

"Agreed," said Tuvok. "What else?"

"My favorite part," Shepherd said with a smile. He pulled out several egg-shaped devices. "Mark XXV photon grenades! Setting 1, they're a flashbang. Setting 7, they're a wide area stun grenade. Setting 12, precision demolition! And setting 17: Blow everything up!" He cradled the grenades with a big, happy smile. He stuck several of them onto his flak jacket belt. He added a standard Type II phaser onto his other holster.

He then put on an earpiece, and slid a yellow circular eyepiece into place over his right eye. He tapped a button on the side of the earpiece.

"And finally, the exographic targeting sensor. Can see in various wavelengths and through walls up to 1000 meters away. It can also link with your weapons or tricorder to give you more targeting information."

Shepherd hefted up the phaser rifle with a grin.

"This should be the standard kit of our security forces! Until we come up with better stuff!"

Tuvok was silent for a moment. "Do you think it necessary to expend our resources towards this end?"

"Yes sir, I absolutely do," Shepherd said. "I mean, let's be honest: We have no idea what we're up against out here. There might be mind eating slug monsters around the next nebula. Or alien ghosts that possess our people. We need to be prepared. All this stuff is regulation and allowed!"

"However, it is not normally employed," Tuvok observed. Shepherd nodded. Honestly, most of this stuff from the wish list of things Worf had wanted to do aboard the USS Enterprise-D. Which is why he'd gone with it.

"Well yes, because back in the Federation most threats can be dealt with just a phaser and maybe a sternly worded warning," Shepherd stated. "But we are so far outside the norm now that we need to preserve as many of our people as possible. So yes, I am absolutely convinced we need to take such measures. Especially given we are almost always going to be outnumbered in any conflict."

Tuvok slowly nodded. "Agreed," he stated. "For an intelligence analyst, you have excellent security training."

"Originally I wanted to go into security," Shepherd said, "but then I thought intelligence would be better. I mean, less crazy. All this stuff is fun in a holodeck or a game, but the real thing? The real thing is scary!" He grimaced. "So I think we should make it as hard as possible for anyone to kill us out here."

He shook his head.

"Besides. This kind of stuff is standard in my hologames. Like the HUD and so on. What kind of sense does it make to expend more effort on making our simulations more combat capable than our actual people?"

"It all depends on the types of holographic simulations one is engaged in," Tuvok said.

"Would you like to join me for one?" Shepherd asked eagerly.

Tuvok was thoughtful.

"That would be acceptable."

"YEAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!" Shepherd cackled, ramming a chainsaw right through the face of a screaming demon. It's blood sprayed all over his armored visor as he grinned like a maniac. "OH YEAH! WHO ELSE WANTS SOME, HUH?! COME ON!"

Some distance behind, Tuvok mechanically blew the heads off several demons. He calmly reloaded and resumed firing the shotgun into the faces of several undead abominations.

"That is extremely inefficient," Tuvok observed.

"What?! They're all distracted from me shoving a chainsaw in their leader's face! Go on, cover me! Cover me!" Shepherd shouted.

"Very well," Tuvok said. "However. Next time, I will choose the combat scenario."

More to come.