Learning Curve Log

Paramonster--mount, owns all. Can't they share?

**Personal Log, Commander Chakotay**

"Learning Curve"

By Mindy

Well, Kathryn is playing "Wuthering Heights" or whatever that holonovel is that she enjoys. Never saw much in those types of stories. Always rather stale and stuffy. Then again, I'm a man, which may make a difference in how I view holonovels.

She called up here when we began having power fluctuations. Concerned, perturbed, whatever. I told her Tuvok was on the problem.

If things had been going smoothly, it was about to hit the proverbial fan. . .big time.

It began with one of the neural gel packs. . .Starfleet's great experiment. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn't be a problem, but with seventy plus thousand light years between us and the nearest starbase, it becomes a big problem. B'Elanna is running analysis. We only have forty seven in reserve, so we can't be changing them every week.

Then we (meaning Kathryn, Tuvok and myself) moved onto a problem with crewman Dalby. He'd been one of my crewmembers. According to Tuvok, he'd made repairs without informing anyone. When questioned, he became agitated, almost insubordinate. He wasn't following Starfleet protocols. Kathryn heard him out, noting that she'd had some complaints about him. He'd missed three of his last ten duty shifts amongst other things. Kathryn asked my opinion since he had been on my crew in the Maquis.

"Dalby's always been pretty aggressive," I said, stating the truth. "My guess is. . . the man's frustrated." I honestly hoped so. "He's not used to dealing with Starfleet protocol procedure."

"A Starship can not run without protocols. Mr. Dalby's attitude is disrupting this vessels operations."

"What do you suggest?" I asked Tuvok. "Dragging him in front of a disciplinary board?"

"Perhaps that would be the best approach," he said.

Kathryn made comment that it's hard to expect Starfleet behavior out of someone who never went to the Academy. Very true. I saw where she was coming from.

A crash course. . .field training. Why things work on a Starship. Kathryn asked if Tuvok was ready for some raw cadets. After all, he'd taught sixteen years at the academy.

He suggested I teach them. Besides, I was Maquis and their former captain. Kathryn told Tuvok that's why he should do it, because I had already earned their respect, that they meaning Tuvok and Kathryn, any of the Starfleet personal for that matter, needed to earn their respect too.

Tuvok agreed. Kathryn had me come up with a list of former Maquis that could best esult with a little schooling. No problem. But I couldn't resist a parting word to Tuvok.

"I'll tell them to be easy on you."

So, I picked four members of my former crew that I thought could benefit from some of Tuvok's teaching. Dalby, Gerron, Chell and Henley. I ordered them to meet at the cargo bay for their next duty shift.

According to Tuvok, they walked out on him. So, it was time for a little of the respect I had earned from them.

I found all four of them in the mess hall. I meandered on into the mess hall and casually got something to drink. I got Chell to move and brought my chair over to the table where the other three were situated. I sat, straddling the chair.

"You wanna give me your version of what happened?" I addressed to Dalby.

"Commander, we're going to live up to our responsibilities on this ship. We're just not going to be treated like teenaged cadets."

"I see." I took a drink.

"It was ridiculous. Tuvok had Chell running laps around the cargo bay." Henley said.

"And he was picking on Geron," Dalby interjected. "I don't like it."

"Really?" I questioned.

"Look, Commander. You know as well as I do that we're used to playing with a different rule book. There's the Starfleet way, and there's the Maquis way."

"And you want to do things the Maquis way?" I said.

"That's right. That's always worked for us," Dalby said.

I took another drink and shrugged.

Then I politely hauled back and let him have it with my fist, with him ending up on the mess room floor. Did that place ever become quiet in a hurry.

"That's the Maquis way too, isn't it?" I said. "And if you want to keep on doing it the Maquis way, that's fine with me." I got up and dragged Dalby back up. "We do that tomorrow, the next day, everyday until you report to Lt. Tuvok. You understand me?"

Dalby just nodded his head. I slightly tapped his cheek with my hand a couple of times. "What? How does a Starfleet crewman answer a question?"

"Yes, . . .sir," Dalby said.

I sat him down and picked up my cup. "Does anyone else have a problem?" I asked. I took one last drink, set the cup back down on the table and left.

Maybe just a slight bit smug.

Well, Tuvok found out what's making the neural gel packs ill. . .cheese. Who would've thought that cheese could cause so much trouble.

Everything began going haywire. We don't have isolinear power yet. Every system is down. Kathryn had B'Elanna switch all available power to life support. Without that, we may as well say goodbye.

The doctor called up to the bridge, saying maybe a fever could get rid of the virus. Kathryn decided to superheat the ship, with every ship function re-routed so we can do it.

And boy did it heat up fast. Sauna on the bridge. I remember one of my instructors in Command School, telling us never let them see you sweat. Well, ten to one, he was never in this type of situation. And the uniforms don't help much.

Kathryn was pulling at the neck of her turtleneck. I could almost read 'to hell with decorum' on her face. She was losing it fast. She called sickbay for a status report. Doc said that the bacterial levels were dropping. Outlandish as it may seem, I wonder if holograms sweat?

And slowly, all began losing consciousness on the bridge. The heat, the lack of life support, was taking it's toll on us.

"Sickbay to bridge. . ..repeat, sickbay to bridge. Can anyone hear me?" Kathryn was out of it, so I answered.

"Come in, doctor," I managed.

"All the infectious bacteria have been destroyed. The danger of further infections has passed."

Kathryn woke up. "Mr. Kim, start getting our systems back on line."

"Yes, Captain," he said.

I found out later (after a shower and a change of uniform) that the 'Academy' had reached and understanding. Good thing, too.

I don't think Kathryn would appreciate me smacking around the crew on a regular basis.

**End Log**

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