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Chapter 5 - Strange Communications

by Kathy Whately & Zak Lyon

Back on the bridge, everything was quiet. It was Gamma Shift. And all was well.


The turbolift doors hissed open and Lt. Commander Whately slowly walked onto the bridge. She nodded to Security Officer Hatter as she relieved Lt. Parrish and took her seat at the Communications console. Perhaps today she will talk to Hatter about her concerns. She just needed to check one more thing. 

Whately was sitting at her station in communications waiting to be relieved when she noticed an anomaly -- an unusual, encrypted communication signal going to Lt. (or was it Lt. Commander -- how does he get promoted so fast?) Bud Walker's quarters from parts unknown.

What is going on here? she thought to herself.  I've had my suspicions about the reclusive Bud Walker and now this.  I guess I'll have to ask him the next time I see him. As if on cue, Walker arrived on the bridge to relieve the navigator.  Kathy's relief arrived early, making it easy for her to approach Bud.  She quickly rose from her station and walked up to Bud in a friendly, but curious manner.

"Hey, Bud, how are you doing?"


Bud looked at her suspiciously as he didn't really have any friends on the Heimdal having avoided most social activities.


"Hi, Kathy," he responded.  At least he knew her name.


She went straight to the point.  "Are you receiving communications from parts unknown in your quarters?"


Bud nervously replies, "No, why do you ask?"


"I've been hearing others talking about strange communications from unknown persons and locations, so I have been asking around. Glad to hear that you aren't having any such problems.  I don't know what is going on -- probably a ghost in the machine or something.  I'll keep checking with everyone.  Thanks, Bud."


Helmsman Lyon was excited to be sharing duty with Commander Walker on navigation. He would finally get a chance to talk with Walker. Maybe get to know him a little bit better. But first, he leaned back in his seat and staged whispered across the bridge to Whately, tongue in cheek. Kathy, how’s frequencies today? She glared back at him as his console beeped. The Relay Portal? He quickly read the IRP message. It was from Kathy.


I don’t feel like kidding today, Zak. Something is on my mind. Embarrassed, Zak turned to Walker. He was immediately hit with an odd feeling. Disorienting and nauseating. He shook it off. Listeners and empaths know not to intrude. But this feels important. Am I crossing a line? Maybe we are on the same shift for a reason. Just because you have darkness trailing you doesn’t mean that it is your darkness. Probably was crossing a line, Zak thinks. No reaction from Walker excepting the smallest lifting of the head. Well…it will be interesting to work together today. 


As she headed to the turbo lift, Kathy thought to herself, Walker lied.  

I know he received a communication.  I hope he bought my story about others receiving errant communications.  Of course, he will never ask anyone about it as he has no friends.  Still, I better talk to my friend, Jonathan in Security.  There's something odd about Bud Walker and I think Jonathan will know what to do.


Instead of going to her quarters, Whately headed to Security to find Hatter.

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