Posted by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in CTO office - All the Paperwork and no increase in pay
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Ethan Nash (Chief Engineer) in CTO office - All the Paperwork and no increase in pay
Posted by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in CTO office - All the Paperwork and no increase in pay
Posted by… suppressed (19) by the Post Ghost! 👻
“Oh my god,” Nash muttered as his first attempt to simply pick up the box from the sides was met with the box shifting slightly across the ground as the weight meant he failed to get enough of a grip on it. “We’re smuggling Klingon weaponry into Perkins’ party, I just know it. She’s supplying a cartel of assassins and we are the unwitting couriers of doom.” He said entirely to himself as he looked at the box again, but decided to refrain from opening the top to look inside.
“Oh come one. I said bend at the knee and put your back into it. You are not ninety,” Kelly snickered. Curiosity was killing her about what was in the box but they would soon know. Mabel could easily be smuggling in Klingon weapons…if it wasn’t her son.
“On my way!” He called out, bending to one knee and picking up the box from the bottom. “She’s giving him bricks for his birthday,” he muttered again, “cement shoes that he can wear to the docks and she has enough for his cronies and the couriers. Another case for Bay City PD.” Nash carried the box out of the house and then looked around for Kelly and Mabel. If they weren’t ready, he was going to head back to the shuttle without them rather than wait with that weight.
Lt Cmdr Nash, CTO
“My god you are a strapping lad,” Mabel came out of the bedroom carrying her purse and wearing the classic old lady hat with a wide brim and carefully placed flower as an adornment. “I was going to get you a repulsor sled but don’t seem to need it. Now hurry up,” she reached out to take Kelly’s arm. “I could literally die before I get to the party and we would not want that to happen,” she said walking towards the shuttle.
Nash glared after the pair, and by the look on his face it might have been debatable if that event would have been that much of a pity. With a grunt, he followed them.
Once Mabel was strapped in her seat, Kelly moved to the cockpit to help Nash fly the shuttle. Well, it was more to make fun of Nash and his first meeting with Mabel Perkins. “So should I start calling you a strapping lad or maybe Hulk,” she did not hide her amusement with the situation.
“Oh no, I wouldn’t dream of stealing that name from your Chief of Security,” Nash growled back at her in a gravelly and unimpressed tone, then he grinned slightly and wickedly. “But she might prefer that name be given to your strapping lad of a Husband when she meets him. Nash suits me just fine, Kelly.” Looking at the console, he plotted a number of courses. “We could take this route, or the asteroid field, and see how she likes a bit of a bump,” he looked at Kelly with pure innocence.
“We will be on Earth in twenty,” Kelly said laying in the coordinates. “You have until then to decide.”
Captain Kelly Bordeaux
“Pffffttt,” Nash blew a quiet raspberry. Not much of a choice when the asteroid field would take a good hour, the direct route it is, Captain Kidnapper.” He did a few things to the console that made it go all colorful for a moment, then lifted the shuttle off the pad and began the ascent.
“We’re clear of the atmosphere,” Nash glanced at Kelly, “engaging warp drive.” In a moment, the were at the Shuttles cruising warp speed and Nash leaned closer to Kelly slightly. “Should we monitor her vitals?” He whispered, “If she does die before we get to Perkins party it isn’t going to be a good look.”
Lt Cmdr Nash
“While I complain about Perkin’s mummy-like longevity, it does come in handy for Maybel,” Kelly said. “Besides don’t put it past Maybe. She might find that great fun. If you spend enough time with her you will learn the humor gene skips a generation. Since Perkins didn’t have any kids thank god, it will die off with Maybel there.” Leaning back in her seat Kelly studied Nash. “So what is your story,” she propped her feet on the console relaxing back. Maybel is right. Under that broodish exterior is a guy with a great sense of humor, a nice smile when you show it, and a helluva lot of fun to be around when you aren’t brooding. You remind me of a serious Dante and you know I am totally on Team Knight.” Kelly spent a lot of time with Nash but there were a million and one topics one could talk about that didn’t involve personal information. She knew about the colony and the prison term but what was it before that. Nash wasn’t the type for pity parties and he had nothing to regret over his actions. There had to be more.
“Brooding?” Nash looked at Kelly and raised an eyebrow before looking back to the console. “I do not Brood. Well, maybe a little.” He paused a moment in thought and shook his head slightly. “We don’t have enough time to go over the sordid history of Ethan Nash on this trip, Captain.”
“You were always the quiet one,” Kelly inclined her head slightly in his direction as if to nudge her comment closer to hit home. Kelly and Nash had a long history in terms of years but it was spotty and mottled. The pair had been in the same graduating class at the academy yet to say they were close personal friends would be a stretch. One or two nights they had run into each other in a random bar. Several missions they were paired together on the command teams. Nash was top notch and highly competitive back in the academy like they all were only he seemed to keep his head down most of the time while Kelly and Dante ran amok breaking rules, taking chances, and thinking out of the box both on duty and off. That is what came to immediate recollection. As to personal relationships, if her memory served, Nash had always been with a pretty redhead that seemed to complement his more serious side with a dose of laughter and frivolity.
She thought about his comment on the sordid history. The incident and subsequent trial was not small news in the rank and file of Starfleet. Kelly searched her mind for more bits of history past their academy years and Nash’s trial but was coming up empty. That was the way of life however, friends you swore you would never lose touch with often were the first to slip away. The adult world tended to crush one with problems those in their early twenties only had heard about. While Nash’s personality had always been more serious and focused, it truly never was as solemn as long as it seemed to be now.
“Maybe you need a hobby.” Kelly half-seriously suggested this. From a psychological standpoint delving into new interests did help pull one from places they were lurking in although a knitting circle or the shuffleboard club was not going to fix Nash. Kelly knew this yet maybe the man would open up. She knew so many rumors about him but rumors had a way of only being half-truths.
“I brood because I am empty, and not in the way any quack or psych is able to help with or fix” Nash told her. “I’m not even sure I want it fixed or am able to. Have you ever had someone in your life that simply completes you? Fills every hole you had and those you didn’t know you had? I’m not familiar with your relationship with your husband nor do I have to be, but if that is what you have, then I am happy for you because everybody deserves that kind of completeness and understanding.” He leaned back in his chair and swung it around to face Kelly.
It had been a long time since she had admitted anything truly personal about herself to anyone besides Dante and Ian. The first knew her as if he were her husband and the latter was her husband. Maybe it was time to have a place to come to where there wasn’t a history and she could get fresh perspectives. “Not without effort,” Kelly took a sip of her drink. “Ric came easy because we were in our twenties and had an instant physical attraction. The attraction smoothed over all the bumps…until it didn’t. Man vs Universe was a huge boon to our lifestyle but a death knell on our marriage. Ian....let’s just say it has been fun and a different journey. Life comes with a lot more baggage in your thirties than your twenties.” Kelly didn’t mind sharing more but she also didn’t want to dominate the conversation. The fact Nash wasn’t just having cocktail talk intrigued Kelly so she hoped sharing even this bit allowed him to continue.
“Before the colony, I was pretty much StarFleet’s poster boy for a model Officer. I served, I did my job and I did it well. I was everything Starfleet expected and regretted nothing. That’s why people that served with me beforehand, gave you those reviews when you asked them about me after the Science Station where we met.
“Don’t sell yourself short. I write recommendations all the time. A person can know the correct words but the reader can tell if it has conviction. I also didn’t need to have a single reference. I had made up my mind about you a long time back.” Kelly turned in her seat to face Nash directly as he was facing her. For the first time, she had Nash opening up on a topic that had in some ways fostered her view of command. Kelly felt selfish being this eager to have this conversation. The way it was handled had always gnawed at a small part of her consciousness, not because she was that close to Nash when the events occurred, but because she could have been Nash in half a dozen similar situations that went right for her instead of a hard left as it had for him.
“My wife and child were on the colony. The one the Breen attacked and the same one that Starfleet decided was going to be too much of an escalation of military confrontation if they deployed a fleet to intercept the Breen. By that time I was the acting XO of a Starship deployed to delay the Breen task force and slow it down long enough with political discussion and distraction to give us time to evacuate the colony. It failed, the Breen opened fire and the Captain was killed. Starfleet ordered our ship to withdraw before the evacuation was complete, I was Acting Captain, we still had people in the colony abandoned by Starfleet. They said they would negotiate their return from the Breen when the Breen took the colony, I knew the Breen weren’t going to take prisoners. They had already fired on us, so I disobeyed orders and attacked the Breen transport ships carrying their troops in order to slow them down while two other ships also broke orders to return and evacuate the civilians.”
“In short, my ship was destroyed by the Breen and lost most of the crew. The Breen arrived and destroyed all buildings in the colony that contained life signs, then occupied the rest with their troops and claimed the colony. My family was not evacuated, and shortly afterwards I began my prison sentence for disobeying orders leading to the loss of the ship and crew, and knocking out the Admiral during the Court Martial hearing.” Nash glanced at Kelly and grinned, despite the topic but there wasn’t a lot of humor in his grin. “So, yes I brood. Because Starfleet isn’t what I gave my career to support and uphold, and when it matters most those ideals we vowed to uphold don’t matter a damn, and we are surrounded by goddamned hypocrites. My completeness and life vanish with my wife and child, so I brood, I drink, and I do my job. Without the job, there wouldn’t be much else, aside from maybe hunting Admirals for sport.”
Lt Cmdr Nash
Kelly felt the air sucked from her lungs. Kelly and Dante spent hours talking about Nash’s situation and how there was no way the court marshal would ever occur, yet it did. They ranted and complained not directly in defense of Nash but in defense of his tactics. They would have done the same things as him in command and were enraged along with countless officers at Starfleet’s decision. Angry comm calls and petitions to independently review the facts of the battle fell on the deaf ears of command. In reality, it would not have helped Ethan anyway. Most of the parties on Ethan’s side were supporting him on principal. He was just a name in a uniform and not a life long dear friend to the mass majority. They used the case as a political stepping stone.
Taking a deep breath, Kelly sadly understood that for all her vocal support, even she was more concerned at the policy stance that was taken in the trial than what exactly the sentence being handed down was. She knew every detail about the court marshal yet never for a second had taken the time to wonder about how it affected the man Ethan instead of Lieutenant Commander Nash. The news of his wife and child explained so much as to why Ethan acted the way he did in the trial. Kelly and Dante along with countless others wondered where the shrewd and astute tactician was as question upon ludacris question was levied at the man. Now his taciturn demeanor had an explanation and one that left her speechless. The idea that Nash was living…well not living: The life he was moving through was more him functioning through it instead of living it. It explained why Nash did not appeal nor react to the news of his sentence. No sentence handed down by man could ever be as harsh as the one-handed down from hell.
Reaching out Kelly put a hand over Nash’s hand. Closing her fingers around his, she hoped the gesture relayed all the words that could not be formed. No words could ever comfort or support someone that was living the nightmare anyone in command feared. She, Dante, Calin, Cochrane, and the plethora of commanding officers she knew were ready to lay down their lives for crew and Starfleet but not one of them was prepared to face the possibility of survival when all they loved were lost.
Nash didn’t move, not for a small moment. After that moment, his head dropped slightly and he looked at her hand over his. He neither reacted or made any effort to remove it, just looked at it for a moment and then let out a slow, deep breath before his eyes rose to hers. Nash knew she understood his mood now, they had been fierce rivals at the Academy both on and off the field but Nash’s path had turned away from the shining lights that her and Dante had found. Nash knew Kelly was aware of it, and knew that Nash held no grudge over it. Nash’s only issue was with Starfleet’s hypocrisy and his own inability to save his family.
“If it makes any difference,” Kelly squeezed his hand one last time before letting go and facing the console, “your trial was the catalyst that turned my irritation with Perkins into a life long vendetta. The smug little bah”....=/\=Shuttle 36412 received your transmission and adjusting course=/\= she seamlessly answered the hail mid-sentence but kept on going, “acted like he was serving in the best interest of justice. It was only to gain his promotion from the blood-sucking liberals that lauded his firm hand as an act of justice. I think we need to step up our game with this birthday party.” Tapping several buttons on the console, Kelly set the shuttle on an approach vector for the academy. “This needs to be a bit impressive than a few goats chomping on some ficus.” Kelly could not contain the swell of anger growing in her chest. If she ever had a reason to hate Perkins knowing more about Nash’s personal story gave it to her. “We are gonna need to take a side trip before the party.”
“That sounds promising,” Nash smirked, his eyes turning hard instantly. “Whatever you have planned, count me in. Do you wanna strap some explosives to a goat and let it loose in Perkin’s Limo before he leaves for the night?”
Lt Cmdr Nash, CTO
“Why you wanna make the goat pay huh,” Kelly frowned at him before winking at Ethan. “I got a better idea and one that won’t leave a mark if we get caught.” Flipping a few switches, she set the shuttles coordinates to land as indicated by the control center. It only took a few minutes for the struts to impact the large concrete landing field.
“Better than goat guts? Talk to me.” Nash said, intrigued at what could be better than goat guts all over Perkins’ flash vehicle.
As the hatch opened, Mabel looked around the field and crossed her arms staring at Kelly. “Disappointing. I thought you would have at least used the women can’t drive excuse and plopped us down on the rose bushes.”
Shrugging Mabel Perkins cast a glance at Ethan before picking up her purse. “Bring the presents and don’t dawdle. I want to get there as soon as possible. When you 105 you can only play the feeble old woman excuse for so long before you drop dead.” Her voice was weak and feeble with a small cough punctuating the words. Swinging her hand out to the right she hit Ethan’s stomach playfully in a backhand followed by a laugh. “See how easy I can turn that on and off. So when I look like I am about to drop dead in that part of his....just know it’s all to make sure the birthday boy doesn’t keep the spotlight. I feel a spell coming on the mind he starts to fire up the old wood chipper with that birthday toast he gives talking about how great he is.” Her voice was full of mirth with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Just remember you are the distraction,” Kelly squeezed Mabel’s shoulder with a gentle smile.
“Yep. Oh and when the time comes have this one,” she hooked a thumb over her shoulder at Ethan. “Have him be the one to call for help.”
Picking up the boxes, Nash slugged them onto his shoulder and narrowed his eyes at the old woman. “Why me, specifically? What are you planning?”
“You will see,” Mabel, “patted Nash’s shoulder before hitching a finger for him to follow. The trio moved towards the officers club where snobby officers wandered in and out of the room with women that seemed more fitting in a cheap hotel than in an officer’s club. Kelly gave Nash a withering look as one of the women moved past them with a simpering laugh at some ridiculous joke the rat faced man has shared with her.
Pausing and watching the women walk past, Nash turned back to Kelly and noticed the glare. Raising an eyebrow, he just shrugged one shoulder. “What?”
“If they are ever looking at the reasons for the fall of the Federation it just passed us in that hot pink dress,” Kelly said half under her breath.
“Oh I wouldn’t be that harsh,” Nash commented, casting an eye back towards the women now departing and laughing louder and more earnestly than before. “I mean, what’s the worst they could do? Suck the information out of our good Admirals?” Nash paused and looked back again in response to yet another loud guffaw, this one drowning out the others. “Yeah, okay. Literally yes. That one has lungs like a banshee.”
Moving up to the steps they were greeted by two security officers at the door with a PaDD. “Private party. Do you have an invitation?” they asked looking at the rather odd trio.
“Invitation,” Mabel sniffed. “I got an invitation to any event Reginald ever has because since I gave birth to him back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Thirty-nine hours in labor. Have you seen that man’s head,” she exaggerated the size with her hands. “It was three times the size of watermelon but one that is hollow. Move aside,” Mabel swung her cane between the two officers not caring that she hit one of their shins in the process. “If you need names its Mabel, Bonnie, and Clyde,” she supplied her name but an alias for Kelly and Nash. “See I should have come with Reginald but instead he made two of the orderlies bring me. Sent me off to the Aged Pasture Retirement Home. Who does that,” Mabel asked partly looking for an answer. “I mean hell we don’t even call it that for horses. Anyway, I got a day pass from the APR and I intend to use it.” Not looking for the men at the door to agree or protest, Mabel moved past them into the room.
Walking past the two stunned guards, Nash paused and said quietly to the more stunned looking of the two, “Roll with it, we got this. They only send me and Clyde out with her on the big jobs.” Cocking a thumb in “Clyde’s” direction, Nash immediately ignored the two guards and followed Mabel.
Entering the room, Kelly looked around and gestured for Nash to head to the bar as Mabel moved towards the table where her son was sitting. Taking a seat at the bar, Kelly signaled for two drinks as she pulled out what looked like quarters from her pocket. “Know what these thing are,” she asked Nash taking a sip of the beers that had arrived. They would look vaguely like micro mini transporter pads but nothing like Nash or anyone else had ever seen.
“Some kind of weird currency and you are paying for the first round, right Clyde?” Nash smirked and pointed assuredly at a bottle of whiskey sitting on the top shelf of the bar, catching the bartenders attention. If this was Perkins’ party and he was paying, Nash was going to make him regret it.
Placing one of his feet on the boxes beside him that Mabel had made him bring to the party, Nash took the small glass of whiskey that the bartender offered and then leaned forward and took the bottle of whiskey out of the mans hand as well. “We’ll take the bottle, you can put it on the Admirals tab,” he told the man, and poured a shot for Kelly. “I know you could do with something a little stronger than a beer,” he glanced at her as he poured. “Especially for what we are about to receive. Why is it, that I am getting the definite impression that dear old Mabel here could put both you and Dante to shame in the secret scheme department? What the hell have you gotten me into now?”
“I’m not sure. Once Mabel decided to show up all bets are off and you know I am a bettin’ kinda girl,” she slid onto the barstool beside him and took the shot glancing around the room.
Picking up his glass, Nash drank the whole thing and didn’t wince in the slightest. Lagavulin whiskey was all at the same time one of the smoothest burns and sweetest flavours he knew. Only one thing made it better, and he reached into his tunic and took out the cigar stub, clenching it firmly between his teeth. Seconds later the skull and crossbones decorated flip top lighter appeared in his hand but he paused again. Pouring more whiskey his eyes returned to the discs. “So what are they?”
“Okay fine,” Kelly felt a half-laugh bubbling up from her chest. “So those bricks were for the Admirals Walk. Mc Laren told me about it and of course, I told Mabel.” Kelly tapped the bar signaling for Nash to keep them coming. The Perkins-McLaren feud was as legendary as the Hatfield and McCoys only it involved uniforms and ideology instead of liquor and state lines. Most people only rolled their eyes at it. Kelly and Dante got hip dip in it ten seconds after joining the academy. Nash, once an eye-roller, got pulled in thirty seconds later by Kelly and Dante after one cadet away mission. Kelly didn’t think he was still holding it against them. I mean he was sitting here having drinks ready to screw over Perkins and he didn’t need to know more than that. “See he created a pathway that had these iconic images in mosaic where of course he placed his lineage in all of them. Mabel over there added a few more truthful bricks. The schmuck thought his mom and the other woman would find it fun to make them. Mabel decided to alter the plans. That is why you just carried boxes of bricks. She is going to have them laid and then revealed at the party’s end. I kinda need to pace myself,” she threw back the shot. “Don’t wanna pass out on the bar before I see what old Mabel added,” Kelly snickered.
Nash moved to light his cigar, flicking on the small flame and moving it towards his cigar ignoring the angry glare from the bartender. Before he reached it however, a hand appeared in front of Nash’s face and took the cigar out from between his teeth. That same hand in the same motion threw the stub behind the bar, onto the floor. The angry glare from the bartender now moved to the hands owner, followed closely by a deep sigh from Nash as he swung the lid of the lighter closed and turned to look at the offender.
“No smoking, an Officer should know that, especially in the presence of the Admiral!” The voice was slightly too high pitched, the hand too soft and the haircut too perfect. When Nash turned to face the young man who he noted as wearing Ensign pips, Nash immediately knew the young Officer was one of Perkins Perfects, the hand-picked Cadets fresh off the Academy who were appointed onto Perkins Staff for future grooming and glory. They were known to be arrogant to the point of believing their lowly rank meant more than it did when anywhere near Perkins, an attitude he encouraged. “Oh that is disgusting,” the Ensign moaned, taking a perfect handkerchief out of his pocket and wiping the cigar residue off his fingers, then his eyes rested on Kelly appreciatively. He either was oblivious to her rank, or he simply didn’t care.
Kelly thought about intervening and brushed it from her mind. Nash was a big boy. He was more than capable of taking care of the little ass without her pips. She also was vaguely interested to see what was going to happen. In all the years she had known Nash, only one person pulled the stinky stub from his lips and got away with it. The difference was Nash was head over heels with that person. This guy did not stand a chance.
“Listen kid,” Nash’s voice had switched to gravelly and threatening in an instant, his words dripped disdain for the rank of the young man. “That, was my last cigar. I’ve had a long journey and that cigar was about to be the perfect compliment to my whiskey.” Raising his glass, he drained it in one go with his eyes never leaving the Ensign, then he turned the glass upside down and placed it on the bar beside him. “Now, a junior Officer should know that you don’t touch a senior Officer nor his property, and doesn’t make eyes at a Starfleet Captain. An intelligent Officer,” Nash continued, turning bodily to the young man on his stool and giving Kelly a dark look, “knows not to touch me. You owe me a cigar and a whiskey. Go fetch me them before I lose my patience, Ensign.”
The young man’s eyes widened in indignation as his pride recoiled from being spoken down to. He was one of Perkins Perfects, after all, and was on the road to glory and his own Command. Opening his mouth to retort at the Lieutenant Commanders clear lack of dignity he paused and something clicked in his mind. Faces whizzed through his memory and one came to the front. “You. You’re him,” he said, startled. “What the hell are you doing here at the Admirals party? You weren’t invited, nobody would invite a disobedient dog like you. You’re supposed to be hidden away on that frozen waste of a planet and forgotten!” The man stepped back and his voice yet another octave as he called out, “Security!”
Nash looked at Kelly and shrugged, raised the lighter in his hand briefly in a mock salute and slid it safely into his tunic pocket. “Sorry Cap’n. I can’t disappoint my fan club.” Then, he slid smoothly off the barstool.
“Aw crap…I am so gonna miss the unveiling of the Admiral’s walk,” Kelly signed sliding off the bar stool behind him.
------------------A short time later---------------------------------------------
Nash groaned and rolled over. His vision swam with sparkling lights when he tried to open his eyes and his head was heavy, like an impressive hangover was mixed with the kind of party pills you only found on Risa’s back alleys.
As he lay there with his hands over his eyes, the throb in his head spread to his face, jaw and nose. Closing his eyes hard, he tried to remember why his knee and knuckles hurt as well. It was hard to focus, at least for a minute.
His mind cleared and he sat up quickly, suddenly and immediately regretted it. “Oh god damn,” he muttered, his vision still swimming and he had to put a hand out on the wall beside him to steady himself. A few short breathes later and he opened his eyes slightly, a blue shimmer coming into vision in front of him and beyond that, a wide, sparse white room with a single desk at one end and a door beside it. “Sugar honey ice tea,” he muttered to himself, not quite understanding what he was seeing. “Kelly!” He roared her name. “Where the hell am I now,” Nash pushed himself to his feet, but his knee gave way and deposited him back onto the bed.
“Oh my god, will you stop yelling,” Kelly moaned pinching her nose? Her voice had a nasal quality to it. It was probably due to the two wads of Kleenex she had shoved into each nostril trying to stop the flow of blood out of it. She was going to get two black eyes out of this. It happened even when you didn’t break your nose. Or did she? Kelly had a vague memory of Nash telling her to hold still but was that when she got the injury or was Nash fixing it. It would come back to her soon enough. She groaned sitting up feeling her head start to pound. “And you,” she snapped at the guard, “aren’t you supposed to keep the lights dim? I mean create a sense of foreboding and anxiety.” She was clearly taunting the security officer behind the desk in the middle of the room.
“You mean like this,” the security officer growled back punching a button on his console. Unfortunately, he did not select the spunky blonde’s cell but the one containing the large brooding man she was brought in with. The lights not only turned up but seemed to be brighter than normal bathing Nash is a light almost as blinding as the bathroom at 2 in the morning when one woke up from a dead sleep.
“What the hell are you doing?” Nash yelled as the lights came up and he tried to shade his eyes from the glare with his hands. Whether the shout was directed at Kelly or the new guy in line it was hard to tell. “You aren’t supposed to start the interrogation till the Chief gets here, now you are going to turn that goddamned light down before you experience a Lieutenant Commanders boot in a place you ain’t felt since your daddy caught you at the neighbors kid.....” Nash’s description of just how the lights would be turned down and what would happen if they weren’t became more descriptive as new ways of making the Security Officers life hell came to mind.
Kelly let out a small laugh watching the young officer’s face as Nash expressed his displeasure with the situation and instructions on how the Ensign was going to remediate the problem. Swinging her feet off the side of her bed, she looked across the room at Nash and winced. “You look like you lost a fight with runaway shuttle,” she commented taking in all Nash’s bumps, bruises, and cuts.
“Yeah but ain’t nobody ever gonna find the shuttle and I’m still here, like I always am.” Nash growled giving Kelly a hard glare. He couldn’t exactly remember much, but he was sure this was her doing.
“You know I can fix that eye with a little concealer,” she offered in a flat tone. Taking a deep breath she winced slightly. Rubbing her side, she took a few tentative breaths. It stung like hell but that meant they were probably only bruised or cracked instead of broken.
“What’s wrong with my eye?” Nash asked, pushing himself to his feet and this time taking into account his damaged knee. The lights had by now been turned down and Nash limped to the security field in front of his cell, and leaned against the wall. “Holy cow, did you headbutt a turbo lift?” Looking at Kelly he raised an eyebrow. It hurt.
“I think it was a brick wall,” Kelly slowly pulled out one of the wads of Kleenex, “or maybe a Kazon. We don’t have Kazon’s at the academy right?” Her question was bordering on sarcasm but also because she could not remember. It was something red and unmoveable. A brick wall was her first thought but that made as much sense as a Kazon wearing a Starfleet uniform. “I don’t remember. What I do remember is climbing in the back of that hover truck. I think we got tossed from it so maybe it was a rock.”
“Hey, no talking,” the Security Officer said, moving to his feet and looking at the both of them. “Orders were to keep you two here and keep you quiet.” Nash glared at the young man and waved his hand dismissively. “Shut up kid, the adults are talking.” He rubbed his jaw in a spot that had also begun to hurt.
“Sir, I would like to remind you that,” the security cadet began before a first-class cadet walked into the room. A smile crept on his face as he looked at the plebe and then the two guests they were told to keep an eye on.
“They out rank you several times over and probably sooner rather than later they will be released. At that time plebe,” the man’s words rolled off his tongue almost like a song, “they will hunt you down and make you count each blade of grass in the parade field so I would think twice about your next comment.” The first-class cadet walked to the cells with all the confidence and poise of someone about to be set loose in the fleet.
“Get a load of this kid,” Nash muttered low enough so that only Kelly in the cell beside his would be able to hear him. “He clearly wasn’t listening in to how I just described ripping that idiots arm off and shoving it....” Nash trailed off as the newcomer approached the cell and spoke to them.
“Sir…Ma’am,” he addressed the pair behind the force field. In his hands were two cups with lids. “I took a chance based on a little research. Drop the field plebe,” he ordered not turning around. A slight grumble from the fourth class cadet followed but the order was completed. Taking a step closer he handed one cup to Kelly and one to Nash. “I wish I could do more but right now I can keep the coffee coming until I get further orders. Is there anything else I can get either of you?”
“There better be rum in that coffee,” Nash growled, his mood hardly improved by the sudden appearance of liquid gold but he took the cup anyway.
Kelly took the cup and let out a huge groan before taking a sip. Her shoulders sagged some as she drank the hot coffee. “Come back every hour on the hour and you can have any spot on the Atlantis your heart desires,” she began promising things just to keep the black, nectar from heaven flowing.
“Thank you Ma’am but I am just fulfilling my end of the deal. A deal is a deal right,” he looked at Nash and then Kelly. “I would ask to speak freely however and say you two,” he pointed between Kelly and Nash as if they were old buddies of his. “I have never seen two people that were not sharpshooters have the aim of you two in beer pong. I mean it was a massacre and you both did it twice. Too bad Hornsby was a sharpshooter and brought in those ringers on you two. I mean it would have been epic to see one team take down an entire squad.”
“What was that about Hornsby? He was there?” Nash asked, both of his eyebrows raising in surprise as he leaned more heavily against the wall. “Beer pong. Jeez, Kelly you remember back at the Academy how Natasha was the unbeaten Beer Pong Queen? That Russian had an aim that made Hornsby look like an amateur when it came to alcohol. Remember how she made us practice non stop the week before the championship?”
“Yeah, and I got a C in stellar cartography because of it even though Nat taped little constellations to the cups. Turned out Dante’s wife knows less about stars than I did,” Kelly rolled her eyes still annoyed about the situation. The fact some TA graded her down and that TA was now her stellar cartographer was a sore point but it made for a great memory.
Kelly looked at Nash as it was all coming back. Suddenly her run-in with a brick wall didn’t sound so ludacris. “Were we in an alley,” she let her question hang to both Nash or the cadet to answer.
Kelly ~ Its all coming back…its all coming back to me now.~Bordeaux
“Why would be in an alley…” Nash said, but trailed off as pieces of the previous night began to form like a jigsaw puzzle in his mind. “Hang on kid,” Nash turned to the First Class cadet and looked at him critically. “What kind of deal are we talking about here?” He took a sip of his coffee and then paused, looking at it, then at Kelly.
“The deal that if you all got arrested I would raise your bail money, however,” he clapped his hands and wore a smirk, “when you got pinched by the MP’s and not the SFPD, money really didn’t help so I got you coffee or coffee plus,” he nodded at Nash.
“I like this guy, can we keep him? There’s rum in my coffee.” He raised the cup as if in a mock salute to Kelly and took another drink.
“Possibly,” Kelly slid off her bunk and moved towards the field. “What’s your career path?” Kelly liked helping the youth whenever she could get a leg up in Starfleet. It not only made friends and contacts but it was just nice to have someone help you out every once in a while.
“I’m JAG,” he responded. “I am also sure I can get the charges dropped,” he added already slipping into the role to which he had decided would be his adult livelihood.
Nash lowered the cup and frowned, blinking away more of the fog and headache while remembering where he was. “Charges? What the hell are you talking about?” As a few memories came back to him, his frown lessened. “Oh, that.”
Kelly could not help but let the smallest grin reach the corners of her mouth. Over the past few years she had been picking up lawyers like business cards. Ian’s mother was a lawyer along with his best childhood friend. She also could not help but laugh as the senior burgeoning lawyer began his speech.
“Now according to the Starfleet code a conviction for Disorderly Conduct and Drunkenness both carry a maximum possible punishment of confinement for 4 months and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 4 months. I am pretty sure I can get it reduced to confinement on the Atlantis for 1 month and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 1 month. I am a bit more concerned about the Breaking and Entering charge.” As Kelly looked to Nash and then back to the cadet, he looked at Nash and then Kelly. “You do both remember breaking into the Presidio Golf course?” His voice took on a questioning tone as if he was already running the case in a court room. “Commander? Captain?’ He asked again opening up the floor for rebuttals.
“What are you both looking at me for?” Nash asked defensively. “We didn’t break into anything,” he explained logically, “the gate was unlocked and there was no sign saying private property. The course lays beside a public thoroughfare, if they didn’t want us in there, they should have put a lock on it, right?”
“It’s a golf course, not an amusement park. Who locks a golf course,” the cadet asked slightly incredulously. “I mean there are no gates you just know enough that there are no lights and when it’s dark you don’t play.”
“People who don’t want people on their course after dark, that’s who,” Nash offered like it was clearly obvious.
He cast a glance at Kelly hoping she would support him. It was then he remembered she was there also and an avid golfer. “Captain,” he spread his hands trying to be friendly. “I mean come on....tell me there was a reason you didn’t just walk around hydrangeas. I mean,” flipped a PaDD around showing Ethan hurtling them like he was being chased and Kelly jumping but basically belly flopping into one not able to clear the height.
“Bordeaux’s definitely are not gazelles,” she let out a small laugh taking a sip of her coffee. Looking at Nash she turned her head in almost a quizzical manner. “You however can jump. Did you do track and field,” she asked sincerely. There was a lot she knew about Nash. There was also a lot she didn’t.
“I did,” Nash nodded, pointing at her with the cup in his hand. “2nd Class Champion in high jump and hurdles. Bet you didn’t know that. I did spend some time doing things that mattered when I wasn’t at the mercy of you or Dante or the Russian Cossack.”
“Stop,” the cadet said flustered after Nash’s reply. “I mean yeah…yay,” he held up his hands in a sad pathetic cheer, “old academy times but it would really really help me if you were say being chased or,” he snapped his fingers happily, “chasing someone. Any chance there was an elderly in distress or small child?”
“On a golf course at night? Who would get lost on a golf course at night,” Kelly waved her hand dismissively.
“Uh I don’t know,” he scratched his forehead clearly frustrated. “I never thought two people would take out a row of hydrangeas instead of using the stone path not even three feet from them but I don’t judge. ” Slapping his forehead as if he was suddenly remembering something important, “Oh but the judge is going to judge. You two,” he made a swirling motion with his fingers, “unless I can come up with a plausible reason as to why you broke two bushes and hot wired some golf carts.”
Drinking the last of his coffee, Nash added, “They didn’t even have security codes on those golf carts, it was possible to just turn them on at the push of a button, no slow speed signs on the course. If we weren’t supposed to drive them fast, why remove the speed limiter? Hardly our fault. Besides, it was an emergency, right Kelly?”
“Yeah,” Kelly backed up Nash. “If someone hot wired them then it was not us.”
Pinching the bridge of his nose, the cadet slowly counted in his head. Join JAG and make a difference they said. You will feel rewarded they said, she spoke to himself. All he had however been rewarded with was a headache.
“Just tell the judge that we’ll replace the plants,” Nash offered. “They were collateral damage or that goat would have caused a scene. “Perkins is lucky we were able to get his damned pet back after it escaped or it could have caused a real issue at his party.”
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