Reflections #21,22 - "Meeting the Parent"

-=[On]=-

[Starbase 47 Docking ring, Vicinity of the pegasus]

"...Listen, for the so manyth time, I am the operation's officer of this ship.. hull... hunk-a-junk... Whatever! I just want to know what happened to my stuff, and in particularly my car, so just let me in!"

"Sorry sir, this ship is off-limits. It's for your own safety. It's a virtual deathtrap. Imagine that some idiot got the clever idea to use the gravity plating as a conduit! I don't know what they were thinking..."

"That gravity plating saved our flipping asses, you moron! It was the only way to get power to the shields and weapons! Now get out of my way!"

"YOU did that?! What the hell were you thinking?! You better move along sir, before I..."

"Ah forget it!"

This conversation could be heard in quite a circumference about the two people arguing. Ronald Evans, and a security officer posted in front of the airlock. The result, Evans was nowhere nearer to finding out what happened to his most prized posession, had no way to get to the rest of his personal stuff, and made another enemy..

Out of all the people able to listen to this conversation, one just happened to care more than the rest... Kathleen Black detached herself from the rest of the crowd and stepped up to Evans and the security officer. A simple but pretty green dress flowed on her slender frame instead of the usual uniform, but she put on an authoritative demeanor that she was not known for being able to pull off as she turned to the security officer. "I'm the Chief Engineer who authorized that 'clever idea' and it saved our lives," she told the security officer simply, then glanced between him and Evans. Her hair was coiled up in a bun and she looked very classy. "Is there a problem here?"

"Oh Hi..." Evans said, as he smiled, seeing his girlfriend. However, he immediately dropped the smile, and played along. " Eh... Ma'am... This gentleman here, won't let me inspect my own ship, to see if there are salvageable components on it, ma'am..."

Kitty looked back at the security officer until he grew gradually nervous and stood properly at attention, then she turned back to Evans. "Bad news on that front. Nobody's allowed back on the ship except engineering crew, and we're on leave. But I've got an inside lead... Williams contacted me this morning. He's got the car out, and he said he was going to send it to one of the storage bays."

Evans glared at the security officer. "You got off easy this time..." Of course, he knew, that technically, the security officer did nothing wrong, so Evans didn't push it. At least he knew his car was safe. He didn't know in what state, however..."How bad is it?" he asked his girlfriend, the act totally dropped...

Kitty reached for his hand, looking in his eyes. "A beam hit the roof... it's dented, and the rear window shattered. The rear wheels burst, too. But.. that's fixable, right?" There was an older man standing back a bit from the couple, watching Kitty... he had brown greying hair, a neatly trimmed beard and moustache, and keen blue eyes. He was wearing a uniform. He looked important.

"Eh... I guess so... Just my luck that it got damaged again, but I kindof expected it to be completely flattened... So I guess it's all.." then he trailed off.. "Is he with you?" he said, as his eyes got wind of the man a few meters away from them, clearly looking at them, as if he was waiting.

"Yeah." Kitty's eyes lit up. "And I want you to meet him, c'mon." She pulled on Evans' hand, leading him over to this distinguished gentlemen, who regarded him calmly. The rank insignia was one that Evans didn't see every day.. Rear Admiral.

A slight "...glp..." escaped his throat, as his knees didn't feel as stable as usual. "Eh... Good midday, sir..." he muttered, a slightly trembling salute, not sure if he should stand in attention like a statue, or just shake the guy's hand, as if they were old friends...

Kitty stood between the two men, watching both of them in delight, as the older man offered to shake hands with Evans. "Pleased to meet you," he said, showing the same authoritative demeanor that Kitty had just pulled off on the security guy. "Regulus Black. And judging from the look on your face, you must be Ronald Evans?"

"Yessir..." Evans answered, dropping the salute, and shaking Regulus' hand. <Wow, I'm moving up in the world...> he dared to think, the hint of a smile showing on his face. "Me and Kitty... eh... Lieutenant Black are... eh... Have become good friends, sir..." he told, not completely revealing the truth. He didn't want to be the 'Hormonaly challenged boyfriend' just yet...

"So she told me," the older man said, suddenly fixing Evans with a stern, intense look and lowering his voice. "What are your intentions towards my daughter?" Kitty wasn't watching them directly now.. she was talking to the security officer, letting the two men have their meeting.

"Eh... eh... eh... I assure you that my intentions with Ki... Lieutenant black are pure, sir... We have become very good friends." Evans stammered. "I love her too much to even consider hurting her... Did I just say that out loud?... Oh dear..."

"Pure?" Regulus asked simply, raising an eyebrow, not letting up on the intent look, just waiting to see what this guy would come up with next.

"Eh... Respectful? No rush? Honorable? Starfleet-like?" Evans stammered... He was very close to being in need of clean underwear.... <Oh no, I'm so screwed...> his thoughts had turned on a leaf on him.

The stern look gave way to a kind smile as Regulus decided to take pity on this poor guy. "She also told me that you saved her life."

"Eh... I'm so sorry about that..." Evans let out, before Regulus words really registered. "Saved her life? Ooooh, saved her life! Yes... Eh, it was nothing, that way I saved my own life too... I'm not really sorry about that... Oooh, I need to sit down... Eh... Sir..." Evans felt like his knees had turned into waterballoons...

Regulus looked at Evans a moment longer, then nodded, smiling, friendly now. "C'mon, kid," he said, clapping Evans on the back. "Let's collect your girlfriend and go find a place to sit." He turned to attract Kitty's attention.

<Well, that went well...> Evans thought, both meaning it, and being sarcastic. "Yessir..." was all that came out of him, as his eyes were already scouting for a bench, crate or any surface suitable for reliefing legs...

Regulus was in charge.. he herded both of them over to a nearby table, a nice round table, so that they could all sit next to each other. Kitty offered to get drinks and promptly vanished into the crowd, yet again leaving the two men together. She was doing this on purpose, of course. She didn't realize how much torture it might be for Evans. Regulus steepled his fingers and looked at Evans. "So... tell me about yourself?" Though his tone was kind, he still looked quite the authority figure.

"Oh, eh... Well..." Evans twiddled his fingers. " Ehm, where to start? Well, I'm a Lt. Jg, obviously..." he said. "I am, or rather was the Ops officer on the now rather badly messed up Centaur class Peggy. People say I'm good with plasma energy systems, and Kitty and I came up with some pretty unconventional ways to use that energy... To be honest, sir, I think we may have broken every single security regulation in the book... But only because it was an emergency!" He looked up at the admiral to see how he reacted to that little bit of info he actually *didn't* want him to know...

"Kitty told me about that," her father said calmly. "I'm proud of her. I hear she did a pretty good job keeping those engines running, and she said that the two of you make a good team."

"Oh, yes! We do, sir..." Evans said, sounding relieved. "You should have heard us coordinating energy production, consumption and repairs... Even with two thirds of the relays out, the Peggy acted as if she was at full strength!" Evans said, with not a *little* bit of pride. "Switching between engines, cloak, shields and weapons, and the engineers swapping relays on the fly..."

"And the gravity plating trick," Regulus said, apparently having followed everything Evans had said, with proper interest even... "I heard how she fried the conduits with that shield recharge. If you ever try that trick again, try routing the secondaries through the primary computer core only, you get better temperature control."

"Yeah, that was a stroke of genius luck, if I say so myself..." Evans joked. "I had no idea if it was going to work, and half the ship was off-limits after that, but it saved our bacon... Eh, through the computercore? Wouldn't that have fried all circuits from targeting aiding computers to toilet flushers?"

"Well you shut those down first, of course," Regulus said brightly. Then he chuckled. "I work in Weapons Design. I've tried.... a lot of things."

Evans slapped his head. "Of course..." he whispered "Why didn't I think of that? That would have saved me a helluva lot of time... Only one authorization code. You have no idea how many times I had to repeat my name and code to shut down every single secondary and tertiary system one by one... I was still saying it in my sleep, the night after."

"I bet!" Regulus said, amused. "Still, you did a good job." Then he switched the topic. "Kitty said you two were going to go visit her grandparents?"

"Yeah" Evans reacted to the change in topic. "She wanted to enter a boatrace. We missed it, due to that Mirror Universe debacle. Next time our captain decides to dive head-first into an anomaly, could you strip his rank to sanitary cleaner, please?" Evans joked. "We've been training a little bit for that race, but it actually resulted in us capsizing hard, sending Kitty flying into the air. We're far from world-championship material yet, but we're actually pretty good... Some of the time... We're thinking of entering one of the smaller races."

"I think that sounds good," Regulus said brightly. He leaned forward, conspiratorially. Now that he had dropped the authoritative air, he sounded a bit more like an older, male version of Kitty. "The Black sunfish sailed in that race," he confided.

Evans adopted the same conspirative posture, and looked a bit odd at that last information. "Eh, I knew that already... Last year. It was piloted by Kitty's grandfather. Kitty was pretty disappointed that we couldn't make it this year... Why are we whispering?"

Regulus snickered at that, leaning back again. "Force of habit," he said. "And slightly misunderstood as well. The Black sunfish sailed in the big race a few weeks ago and won second prize."

"It did? Huh? How? Who? That's great news!" Evans let go.

"I did it," Regulus said calmly. "Oh I bet Kitty told you it takes two to handle the sunfish. My father says that she can't do it alone, which makes sense, she's such a tiny thing. But he can handle it alone, and so can I." He cast an appraising look at Evans. "I bet you could, too, in time. How do you like sailing?"

"That's wonderful news!" Evans almost yelled out. "Eh I like the sailing part... The flying through the air part, after making a wrong move into the wind part, I can do without..." he confessed.

"That's an experience," Regulus responded, amused. "Almost every able seaman has been thumped from behind at least once in his life, usually the boom." He then sighed, turning more serious. "I didn't always do a good job, keeping in touch with family, dealing with family matters."

"Ah, yes... The boom... Never ever forget the boom..." Evans mused. "Eh... You didn't? Eh... Perhaps you're right, sir... No disrespect intended, sir... Oh, perhaps tht was the reason why Kitty wanted to talk to the Mirror Regulus..."

"She told me a little about that," he said slowly. "Did you get to meet him as well?"

"Eh, no... I did get to meet me, though... That was NOT an experience I care to repeat, let me tell you that... That universe brought the worse of everyone to the foreground. It turned me into a pimping casino/brothel proprietor. And that's said diplomaticly..." Evans shuddered at that.

"What scares me, is that it shows me just what I could be capable of, if the conditions are right... Wrong... Eh... You know..."

"I don't know about that, necessarily," Regulus said, looking at Evans appraisingly. "Maybe the 'raw material' that is you. But you as you are now... Kitty told me a bit about what happened to the 'other you'. It looks like she's got her mother's fighting spirit."

Evans actually winced at that. "...Owie... Yup, you could say that. Yet another reason for not getting on her bad side..."

"Speaking of which..." Regulus chuckled as he spotted Kitty returning with the drinks. "We'd better make like I was chewing you out properly," he quipped.

"Eh? Oh... Eh.. Yessir!" Evans just answered.

"Don't worry..." Regulus said with a wink. "I like you."

"Eh... Thanks, Sir, You're not too bad yourself..." Evans just added, with his trademarked stealth smile, only friends can see.

-={Off}=-

Lieutenant Jg. Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer USS Writeoff "Yes, I'm intimidated by pips... They pay my salary!"

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus?