A Story Of Friendship
by Norm Liddell

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April 5, 2003

At the core of every work of fiction lies an element of truth. As the USS Haven gets underway, we thank our friends for wishing us well, and offering support.


This story is an expression of our appreciation for our Crew and our Friends. The ships mentioned are Star Trek Clubs we share strong friendships with. Official Links are listed as Ending Credits after our story.

Although not everyone is mentioned, our spirit of connection with so many fans & friends underlies the entire meaning of this tale.

Life is FUN!

Norm & Denise

A Story of Friendship

Leaning forward as he adjusted his glasses, Captain Liddell went from menu to menu on his viewscreen surveying status reports. The glasses were old technology. He could never get comfortable with the idea of subjecting his vision to surgical adjustment. His glasses worked fine and he wasn't changing.

The USS HAVEN was a special GALAXY CLASS Cruiser outfitted as a medical assistance vessel. Three months ago, when she left Utopia Planitia Shipyards she was touted as the flagship for a fleet of Hospital and Support ships that would tour the quadrant assisting Federation citizens and others, as civilization edged towards recovery. Instead of being fitted with the usual weapons package, she was equipped to serve massive numbers of sick and injured from a violent Dominion war that was drawing to a close. With over 1200 beds, 75 surgical wards, 150 stasis chambers, hundreds of medical personnel, a special unit which developed and maintained bacteria cultures and scientifically engineered anti-viruses to assist bio-war victims, a fleet of Millenium Delta Fluyer Runabouts converted to ambulatory rescue shuttlecraft, and a Admiralty Staff to coordinate activities, she was not your typical starship.

Many of Starfleet's standard medical procedures did not work for the types of injuries inflicted by the Jem Hadar . Some procedures were not acceptable for many of the races victimized by the war. Medical Officer, LieutenantJG Christine Menzel, frequently commented that she often felt as if they were practicing medicine in the 20th century. Her staff was taxed, but lives were being saved, and victims were recovering.

As word spread that Dominion Leaders had been infected with a deadly virus, the Jem Hadar had become viciously brutal. Using poison gas, they caused madness among many of Starfleet's finest Officers. They attacked civilian colonies, killing and torturing every being they came in contact with. As the USS HAVEN arrived in sector 7208-SK, they were overwhelmed by the damage and destruction. Ship debris, planetary fragments, and bodies were scattered everywhere. Two of the only 3 M class planets in the sector has been devastated. While rescuing injured Klingon Civilians from a ravaged colony on the only remaining inhabitable world, the Haven came under attack by a Jem Hadar vessel which had not received word of the Dominion surrender. Fortunately, IKV WidowMaker, also responding to the colony's distress signal, arrived on the scene during the attack. Uncloaking from behind, Captain K'rum sutai-Urussig's disprupter blasted the Jem Hadar into millions of fiery fragments with nothing to salvage, not even a recognizable piece of debris. Now, as damage reports came in, and patients were being evaluated, Captain Liddell was preparing for the six day journey to Starbase 410. Captain K'rum's IKV WidowMaker offered to assist as an escort supplementing the Haven's minimal weaponry.
"Commander Maywald to Captain Liddell"
"Yes, Number One"
"Captain, we need you on the bridge"
"Thank you, Katharine....on my way"

Setting his viewscreen on standby, Liddell pushed his chair back, stood up and made his way towards the door to the bridge.

"Captain's on the bridge" announced Duty Officer Ray Brown


Commander Maywald rose from her chair facing Captain Liddell. LtCommander Adam Wershil was busy making adjustments to the life support systems. Ensign Bob Wright was at the helm. Ensign Tuckey manned the weapons console while Ensign West and LieutenantJG Britcher attentively monitored the engineering and science panels. Ensigns Suzy Garrison and Chris Lower stood attentively near each end of the instrument panels at their Security Positions. Lieutenant Frank Dowler was off to the side taking notes, preparing for his Broadcast to the fleet on Saturday nite.

They were a seasoned team of professionals, committed and loyal to the Haven and to her goals of support and service.
"Captain, our sensors are monitoring an unidentified vessel approaching off our Port bow"

Leaning forward from the Operations Station, Commander Gigliati interrupted......
"Captain, we are being hailed by Captain K'rum sutai-Urussig's of IKV WidowMaker
"Onscreen, Commander"
Turning forward, Captain Liddell faced off with Captain K'rum. They had been acquainted many years. Captain K'rum, a notorious Klingon Warrior, was known for attacking his enemies with speed and fury, wreaking havoc, devastation, and certain destruction. Although he was fierce and formidable, Captain K'rum had always acted as an honorable Warrior, true to his word and his character.

"Good evening, Captain K'rum. I assume you are inquiring about the approaching vessel"
"Yes, Captain...Our sensors are unable to identify the vessel"
"We cannot do so either, Captain K'rum"
"No problem. We'll power up and take her out with a disruptor blast...standby"
"Wait", Captain Liddell shouted, walking excitedly toward the screen.
"We don't know who they are. You can't just go blowing up vessels simply because you don't recognize them."
"Captain Liddell, with all due respects to your professional judgment as Captain of a Hospital Ship... WE ARE WARRIORS!... BLOWING UP our enemies and DESTROYING unidentified threats is our job...It is what we LIVE AND DIE FOR!"
'I understand, Captain K'rum. I have great faith in your honor, your bravery, and your combat skills. I am simply addressing your patience, which is often a virtue, especially in battle"

Commander Gigliati interrupted again;
"Captain, our sensor blip is hailing us"
"Captain K'rum, please standby"

Turning to Commander Gigliati, Liddell responded;
As Captain Liddell focused on the new image replacing Captain K'rum, he saw a mountain of a man, tall in stature, battle-worn and tired, with a presence that commanded attention.
"General Savander ....How good to see you. We received reports that the 
USS Tiberius was in this sector, but no details."
"Thank you, Captain. We weren't sure if you recognized our sensor readings. We sustained considerable damage during violent battles with Dominion forces. Some of our equipment isn't working very well."
"I understand. You hailed us just in time. Our Klingon friends aboard the IKV WidowMaker were about to move to your position"
"Captain, we have a lot of fight left in our Crew. We would like to assist as an escort for the remainder of your journey"

Commander Gigliati interrupted again:
"Captain, two Klingon warships are uncloaking off our stern. We are being hailed."
Captain Liddell recognized Captain KheTara sutai Lorenssith immediately. Her reputation as a violent merciless warrior in command of IKV Fek'lhr's Hoof made her infamous throughout the KLINGON EMPIRE.

Commander Gigliati interrupted again:
"Captain, we are being hailed by the other vessel. Sensors indicate it is IKV Honor's Blade IKV Honor's Blade."
"Federation Vessel, this is CDR tIn'HIch'nuj Vestai Lorenssith of Imperial Klingon Vessel Honor's Blade. SURRENDER OUR CITIZENS OR PREPARE TO BE BOARDED!."
"CDR tIn'HIch'nuj, please standby"

Commander Gigliati interrupted again:
"Captain, We are being hailed by the USS Bounty now dropping out of warp, maintaining our speed and position directly overhead."
The USS Bounty was a Defiant Class vessel armed to the teeth with special weapons, cloaking ability, and specially trained gunnery officers who were the best in the galaxy. Although she was ferociously loyal to the Federation, Captain Wayne Courts, of Starfleet's CANADIAN detachment, maintained an independent and offensive posture that earned his Crew a reputation as the toughest vessel in the Federation with a motto of "Assimilate This!" emblazoned across her hull.

"Captain Liddell, We are here to assist. How many of these Klingon vessels should we take out for you?"
Thank you, Captain Courts. The situation is a bit different than you imagine. Please stand by."

Commander Gigliati interrupted again:
"Captain, we have more company. The USS Blackstar and IKV Hup Hoch have dropped out of warp, maintaining opposing positions below us."

Before Captain Liddell could respond, Commander Gigliati blurted out:
"Captain, another Klingon vessel is dropping out of warp behind us. Sensors indicate it is IKV Fek'lhr's Fury. We are being hailed."
"Don't respond, Commander. Set up a multiple comlink. We need everyone onscreen at the same time and we need it NOW!"
"One moment, Captain. I''ll try"

Turning away from the viewscreen as he paused to regain composure, Captain Liddell's face expressed frustration. Communications were rushing along without logic. This was chaos. The danger of confrontation was escalating rapidly.
Captain Liddell paused, turning to admire his wife Denise, staffing the Auxiliary Comm station. As the Administration Officer, she only worked limited bridge duty. Smiling as their eyes met, he enjoyed a brief moment of distraction.

He noticed Admirals Mark Sullivan and Betty Boyer standing near the turbolift with Lt. Commander Wendy Elkes, Education Officer. Apparently they had walked in during the confusing discussion. Fleet Admiral Sullivan always removed himself from the details of daily operations. Allowing others to exercise their judgment, the jobs always seemed to get done. Flag Admiral Boyer, a long-time professional in Starfleet Communications, seemed attentive to the ship-to-ship bantering taking place on the bridge. Lt. Commander Elkes was an alert strategist who had built her career and reputation by training others to perform at professional levels that exceeded Starfleet's highest standards. She was watching every detail with intensity (probably working on a lesson plan for her next class).

"Captain, we have a multiple comlink established"
Turning forward, Liddell faced eight warriors, professional soldiers and tacticians, each poised for a fight, knowing they were only a breath away from battle.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the USS Haven. Our mission is one of peace, support, and assistance."
It was an unusual sight.....so many faces at once on a single viewscreen. Each face expressing curiosity and awe as they glanced from caption to caption at each other.
"Captain K'rum, have you discussed the situation with your KLINGON counterparts?"
"Sorry, Captain. You said 'standby', then you were gone so long that Di'Lar & I slipped into our ready room to enjoy some TULABERRY WINE we confiscated from the FERENGI What did I miss?"

At that point, pandemonium broke out on the screen among the KLINGONS. As Captain Courts, General Savander, Captain Roche, and the USS HAVEN 's entire Bridge crew looked on, the KLINGON OFFICERS went shoulder to shoulder with verbal assaults, confrontations, and nuances until Captain K'rum finally siezed the discussion, convincing the others of the honorable efforts and intent of the USS HAVEN.

As the conversational thunder cleared, Captain K'rum addressed Captain Liddell on behalf of his Klingon comrades:
"Captain, it seems we are all in support of your Crew. We will continue with you on your journey to Starbase 410. We welcome the company of the USS Bounty, USS Blackstar, and the 
USS Tiberius . Although they are not KLINGONS, their reputations as formidable WARRIORS precedes their presence. They are worthy of our support.
"Thank you, Captain K'rum. We would like to go to warp seven at 1900 hours. Is that agreeable to everyone?"

With a nodding of heads, excited hand and arm gestures, and a volley of cheers, General Savander of the USS Tiberius , Captain Wayne Courts of the USS Bounty , Captain K'rum sutai-Urussig of IKV WidowMaker , Captain KheTara sutai Lorenssith of IKV Fek'lhr's Hoof , CDR Qatani sutai-DevnoH of IKV Fek'lhr's Fury , Captain Nick Roche of the USS Blackstar , Colonel BeklaH sutai JoliF of IKV Hup Hoch and CDR tIn'HIch'nuj Vestai Lorenssith of the IKV Honor's Blade all agreed.
After everyone finished nodding and ranting, Captain K'rum piped in:
"Captain, since there will be no battle, I suggest we celebrate our coming together. We have an ample supply of TULABERRY WINE, ROMULAN ALE, BLOOD WINE, and fresh culinary delights. Colonel BeklaH sutai JoliF has agreed to invite us all aboard the IKV Hup Hoch for a grand Klingon FEAST.

"Thank you, Captain K'rum. I assume when you say fresh culinary delights, you mean the food will be moving?.....Captain Liddell smiled.
"Of course, Captain. but your Crew may bring their own food if motion on your plates is too disturbing."
Captain K'rum, Captain KheTara , CDR Qatani, Colonel BeklaH , and CDR tIn'HIch'nuj roared with laughter"

Smiling at their united response, Captain Liddell expressed his appreciation to the faces on the viewscreen: Eight leaders, eight hearts of strength and courage, eight comrades standing with their crewmembers, anxious to fight or die if the cause is right, secure enough in their strength to laugh, and celebrate life together.

"Thanks to you all. Such a FEAST is agreeable to our Crew also. We'll join you immediately after we go to warp. We are glad to have each of you with us. Please prepare your crews for the FEAST and for our journey. We are proud to be favorably surrounded by so many honorable and formidable warriors."

Forming a protective ring around the USS Haven, this newly formed fleet of friends, a family of sorts, moved forward, operating as equals, loyal to their own agendas, sharing the responsibility and honor of maintaining safety and security for all.


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