Reprieve # 21 & 22 - "Our New Tetris Super-Champion"


[Main Sickbay, Starbase 343]

Lt. j.g. Black was off-duty and out of uniform. Wearing another of her simple, wraparound dresses, a style chosen to avoid drawing attention to herself, she stopped by the Starbase Sickbay. She stepped inside, looking around for a single familiar face that she knew for sure she would find there. Her hair was completely down and she was wearing a single piece of jewelry.. a silver chain with a sterling silver dolphin-shaped charm.

Kristiana Petrova was lying in sickbay .. Most of the others had been released already, except for her. A lot of work had been done on her shoulder, and she was completely immobilised now - atleast, her left arm was, tied down and held in medical forcefields to keep it perfectly still while the shoulder healed and rested. She looked bored, very bored, idly playing a game of tetris on a padd.

Kitty looked around and smiled as she recognized her XO. She beelined for the biobed, waving as soon as Kristiana happened to look up and notice her approach. She seemed cheerful and calm, friendly but a little nervous. A glance given at Kathleen as Kristiana heard someone approach, then a smile as she paused her game and placed the padd aside. "Lieutenant Black ..What a surprise." Her smile told Kathleen that it was a Good one.

"Hi!" Kitty smiled, Kristiana's smile proving contagious. "I wanted to come and see how you're doing. You look like you're bored half to death." She blinked and gave a wry smile, as if she'd said yet one more thing more bluntly than she'd intended. A smirk and a nod from the bed-ridden XO. "Yeah.. Yeah you could say that. Bored out of my freaking skull." A sigh then. "But I'll survive. I'll be out of here by tomorrow morning. Hopefully on my feet." "Yeah, on your feet is a good thing... How's your shoulder?" The last bit was asked in concern. Kitty could remember all too well how it looked in that nightmarish battle, when she suddenly had to be the last defender of her own engine room. "Eh .. " Kristiana replied. ".. they've been working their miracles on it for hours, and they say it's looking good. I should be able to get atleast partial use back. They've replaced part of the original bone structure with titanium implants."

Kitty frowned at that, then gave a determined nod. "I think you'll be able to use it just as well as ever. My grandfather had to have something similar done to his leg, and he stuck to his exercises stubbornly. I think he's got full use of it." She hesitated and rethought that last statement. "At least, he never complains about it." Kristiana smirked at that. "Well, good for him. As for me .. I just want to be able to work out again and train my weapons again. If they're still alright, that is - I don't know if my quarters were hit during that battle or not. Speaking of which, how's the ship ?"

"I don't know how your quarters are, but mine are fine. My cello is fine... no cracks. Of course, I got the best case for it that I could. Even getting knocked around a bit won't hurt it, as long as it's in the case." Kitty paused and shook her head slightly. "I guess you didn't need to hear about all of that, though. The engine room still has black spots all over it and it's going to be in that old 23rd century configuration until the spare parts arrive, which they probably have already." A nod from the russian woman. "Well, that's good then. If your cello is just fine that means that the damage to the ship probably isn't that bad as well." A soft sigh, as she looked at Kathleen. " .. That was your first real battle, right ? I mean, first time the battle came so close ?"

Kitty glanced down at that. "Yeah... it was. I mean.. we'd had a couple skirmishes, but Red Alert didn't mean anything but that the ship might shake a couple of times and we might even have some damage to fix afterwards. The other places I've served, the other engine rooms, they were bigger... We almost never got boarded, and I never saw a firefight before. I mean, I had the training, I know how to aim... but... I'd never USED it before..."

A nod from the XO, as she moved to rest her one usable hand on Kathleen's. "Well, you did great. Thanks to you, so many people survived. Had you not re-directed bridge control, the ship would've been lost. Had you not flown as you did, the ship would've been much more heavily damaged." Kitty gave a slight, incredulous laugh. She didn't move her hand... she felt a little better for the comforting contact. "I don't know how to fly a starship. I used a move I learned in a video game when I was a child. I felt like I was making a complete idiot of myself. And then when I heard the walls creak..." But then she cut off that statement abruptly, glancing down again.

A sigh and a nod. Kristiana squeezed Kathleen's hand a bit, before pulling her hand back again. "Well, I think you did great. And that's what I put in my report to the Skipper. It's very tough, your first real battle, or having to do things you're not trained for. But you pulled through." Kitty smiled, drawing her hand back as well. "I appreciate that. I really do. I hope... I mean... I like... you know, I like being Chief Engineer... I like having my own engine room. I hope I measure up." "Only time can tell, Kathleen." Kristiana replied, looking at the ceiling again, with a sigh. "Only real advice I can give you is, keep doing what you think is right. And never be afraid to ask for help, or advice."

"And take a break when I need it." Kitty smiled and sighed. "I got back a little while ago from 'The Consort'. It was a lot of fun. I was lucky there were enough members here at the same time." " .. The consort ?" Kristiana asked Kathleen. "Well, yes..." Kitty blushed slightly. "It's something someone started up during my Academy years, though I'm pretty sure there are other groups like it. You sign up for it if you have a musical instrument and like playing the really old music, the Medieval and Rennaisance songs. There were three other Consort members listed on the base who had some time, so we got together and made a nice little string quartet for a while. It.. helps me recenter and relax, and it's fun, too. I got to make a few friends that... I'll probably never see again."

Kristiana gave a nod "Well, you can always write them. And the Pegasus is assigned to this region of space with this starbase as our regular docking and supply station, so we're bound to come back here every now and then." "That sounds nice." Kitty smiled. "Do you have something like that, that you do on a starbase to relax? When you're not recovering in Sickbay?" She didn't know quite why she threw in that last bit.

A snort and a bit of a sigh at that. Kristiana Really didn't enjoy being forced to lie here all day. But she knew it had to be done. "As you know, we don't have a holodeck on our ship. I had planned to take this opportunity to practise my Bat'leth, while docked in the starbase, but guess what my chances of that are, now. But, yes, that is my hobby, how I wind down. Training with bladed weapons, klingon or romulan or vulcan or earth .. Modern or ancient. It's all the same to me."

"It's the same as playing cello in a way, isn't it? Familiar, comforting... Oh. Uhm, yes, I wanted to tell you..." Kitty began to look embarrassed again. "I don't mean to.. insult, or anything... when I keep accidently calling you 'sir'. My grandfather taught me some Starfleet rules when I first showed interest, and he said that everyone was to be called "sir" or "mister" because there was 'no sex among military'. But when I got into the Academy, I found out that had been changed a little sometime in the past, like, fifty years or something. Uhm... the habit stuck." A nod from the russian woman. "I know and I understand. There are some women in Starfleet that want to be called Sir. But I'm not one of them." A smile "But it's ok if you slip during a tense situation."

"Thanks. I probably will. You're not the first person I've annoyed by doing that, but you're nicer about it." Kitty smiled again, then straightened up. "Well... I hate to leave you to be bored.. but.. I need to go make sure the engine room hasn't fallen down yet. We're supposed to have a lot of spare parts and starbase engineers in helping out, and things can get into a real mess pretty quickly."

A nod from Petrova. "Good good. While you're at it, see that our cargo bay is cleared and in good working condition. We launch tomorrow, and our mission is one of transportation. " "Sure, no problem. It'll be done by the time you're up and around again." Kitty smiled, then sighed a little. "I'm awfully glad you're ok." And with that she turned to go. "Yeah .. " A sigh from the russian woman. "Same to you." A bit of a smile, as she reached for her paused game of tetris, resuming play.


Needing one three-cornered piece to reach the next level:

Lt Cmdr Kristiana Petrova Executive officer USS Pegasus

Lt. j.g. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus