'And' is a Number

Posted July 30, 2021, 9:17 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) (James Sinclair)

Posted by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) in ‘And’ is a Number

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in ‘And’ is a Number

The night before had been a crazy whirlwind that Cara would willing ride again. Gavel had dropped her off at her door, kissed her, and told her to sleep well. She’d walked into her quarters, threw herself into a heap onto the folded cushion that, for the moment, passed for a couch. She stretched out, ankles crossed, one hand behind her head, the other on her stomach…groaned derisively at herself, and proceeded to give herself a mini counseling session until she had herself giggling for no reason at all.

Cara was up early and left even earlier than normal. She only made two wrong turns on the way to her office. Which considering she had to follow the outer hull to get there, was kind of absurd on her part. She blamed it totally on the giant India green Sidhe living next door to her and his uncanny ability to invade her dreams. She walked into her office, a huge grin on her face, to stop short. Her desk was here, awesome…there was an engineer with it…not so awesome. “Lt. O’Farrell! I wasn’t expecting you, yet. I’m almost done building your desk. When I’m done, just tell me where you want it.”

“Where it is, is just fine, lad. I’m not sure how I’ll organize everything yet.” Take the hint, go away, I’m busy....

Unfortunately he took that as his ‘opportunity,’ and Cara stopped from smiling at the absurdity, he’d take it the wrong way. “I can stay and help or come back later and help you move everything.” Cara walked out the door with a “I have to get working, take your time,” pointed to another office as she passed Yvonne. She stepped into the other office, muttering, “It’s da hair, it’s always da hair. I’m gonna shave it off.”

Around lunch time Lt Cmdr Mardusk, chief of security, would receive a typed message:

‘Hey Gairbhéal,
Dress code is a bit different tonight. Slacks, button down shirt, and comfortable shoes.
No food served, just drinks.
Oh, just wondering, would you still like me if I was bald?’


A few minutes later, there was a chirp and a reply had been sent.

‘Dress code confirmed. Any particular color? I’d like to compliment my date’s choice if possible.
No food? Should I eat prior to? And I think you’d look amazing in nothing… hair included. See you at 7.



Cara stared at the screen and felt hot. She fanned herself with her hand, gave up, and tossed the uniform jacked aside for the moment. The man wasn’t even in the room. She started typing…

‘Oh you will. I’ll be wearing my favorite shade of green.’

Then she paused. Dinner? Yes he…they should eat before hand, but together? Hmmm…no, and she grinned. He wanted to be chased a little? And dinner made it too easy.

‘Yes you should eat prior.’ Deleted question Nope, she deleted the last part. Really she needed to get a grip. ‘I’ll leave early so I don’t get lost along the way.’ He could almost hear her laughter on the last part. ‘My next appointment is here. See you at 7.


She sent the message, logged out of the computer, slipped the jacket back on and went to open the door for her first appointment of the afternoon.


Showered, hair styled into a rope braid that curved around the side of her face and fell over the front of her left shoulder, Cara slipped the India green dress on. A knee length satin and chiffon piece with wide strapped shoulders, that cross crossed on her front and back with a deep V. The sides left open from her bottom rip to her waist, and then the skirt flowed out gently. She sat, slipping on deep red heeled strappy leather sandals. And to complete the whole thing, over the top was a grey duster length sweater cinched with a wide belt, that hid the dress from view, except for peeks of the skirt. The only jewelry she had was her Claddagh ring on her right hand.

It was six o’clock that evening. Showered, dressed to the specified dress code in a tasteful charcoal gray and black combination, and having eaten; Mardusk stood in his living room and stared at the door.

He still had an hour.

He cursed.

Cara still had an hour. She finished writing the note and then placed the box outside her door, and tapped the note to the door, addressed to ‘Malachite.’ Then she turned and headed down the corridor for the lift and Deck 16. Reminding herself to the whole way to stop letting her imagination run wild in anticipation and focus on now.

He stood motionless for fifty-eight minutes as his mind raced through possibilities, tangents, the occasional fantasy, and more than a few self-admonishments to ‘get a grip. This isn’t like you.’. Finally, the alarm sounded, he stepped out the door, turned left took four steps and pressed the chime.


On the door was a piece of paper labelled “Malachite.”

‘Holodeck 4, 1900 hours. I’ll see you there. Oh and that’s for you.’ with an arrow pointing down at the box. Inside was a deep red fedora with a black ribbon around it and a colorful, but tasteful feather in it.

Mardusk looked at the hat, slipped it on, adjusted it at a subtle yet jaunty angle, and the turned towards the turbo lift. As he walked he tapped his commbadge. =/\= Computer. Location of Lieutenant O’Farrell. =/\= he said with a grin.

Cara stood outside the holodeck…but it wasn’t holodeck 4 it was 1 AAAAANNNNDDDDD it was 1900…she was late and lost.


“You do know the difference between 1 and 4… right?” said a familiar voice from behind with a chuckle.


Cara sighed, deeply, before turning around. It wasn’t even amusing to her at this point. Give it five minutes she could laugh. She’d left an hour early. At first she thought she’d gotten off on the wrong deck. Nearing the middle of the saucer section the decks were huge at this point, and she wandered. She’d just about given up and used the computer when she found it! But she hadn’t…without turning around she sighed again. “Yes I know the difference between 1 and 4. I found 4…holosuite four.” And then, because she knew they were all supposed to be near each other she’d gone looking for holodeck four but only found 1 and 2. She turned around to tell him that and stopped short. Whoa…her eyes widened as they travelled the entire length of him. “You look really ho…handsome…you look really handsome.” Get a grip on yourself! You saw him yesterday! She took the three steps towards him, and slipped her hand into his. She didn’t ask how he knew where she was or why he was there with her instead of where they were supposed to be when she was only just now late.


Gravel smiled and squeezed her hand. He leaned down and said softly in her ear: “You look really hot too, gorgeous.” and he softly nibbled her ear, kissed her cheek, and then leaned up and grinned.

“I’m pretty sure by this point the algorithms in the computer core are just going to start telling me where you are every twenty minutes or so.” and he winked.


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