A Mirror Shattered #245&246 - "The best service available, Bar None"

(OOC: We'll have two Evans' in this story, the 'original' one and the mirror-one... I'll be talking about the original one when I mention 'Lieutenant Evans', and I'll be talking about the Mirror one, when I write 'Ronald Evans'... Enjoy! I know we did!) (OOC2: I noticed the postcount was off... Corrected it...)


[Shuttlecraft, on final approach to the 'Pot of Gold Casino']

Kitty relaxed a little and allowed her nervousness to show as she was piloting the shuttle. The only person to see it was Evans, and he must already know how nervous she was. She did look very nice. She had put her long, straight black hair up in a bun, letting the layered bangs fall around her face. She was wearing the same dress she had worn for their first date, a red Asian-style wraparound dress trimmed with gold embroidery, close-fitting and almost knee-length. This time she felt confident wearing her heels, not very high, but just enough to make her look very nice.

Evans was quite well dressed himself... He was wearing black slacks, a thin white turtleneck sweater, and a black jacket to top it all off. He was wearing standard issue Starfleet shoes, but polished to a shine... Simple yet elegant... However, no matter how sharp he was dressed, he just couldn't keep his eyes of his girlfriend... "That dress makes you just... stunning..." he mumbled. But he too couldn't look past the obvious anxiety... "You look nervous... Is there something I can do?" he asked, a bit louder that time.

"I don't know," Kitty said honestly, turning to look at him. "What would make you less nervous, if you were in my position?" She tapped in a communication to the casino, looking for a place to 'park' their craft.

"Well, you could let me take care of the landing, and grab a nice cup of milk in the back..." he suggested...

"I almost wish I could have something stronger than milk." Kitty smiled, unbuckling from her seat. "Alright, I'll do that. I've already put in the communication, asking for a place to land. They should be responding back soon." She checked to make sure he'd taken over the piloting functions before leaving her seat and stepping in back.

"Alright, you go back and relax... I'll just take care of the landing..." he said to her in a calming voice. "Ah, here's the response..." =/\=Pot of gold Private parking Control to Shuttle Paramount, do you have a reservation?=/\= =/\=Eh... Reservation? Standby...=/\= "Kitty, it seems we need a reservation for this place... Did you acquire one?" Evans asked to the back of the shuttle

"No, I didn't," Kitty said, panic starting to rise in her voice. "Fath-... Mr. Black didn't tell me I needed one."

"Ok, don't worry, we'll figure something out..." =/\=Eh, Paramount here again... Seems like we don't have one. There may be an extra one on the name of 'Regulus Black'...=/\= he tried.

=/\=Casino Parking to paramount, there *is* a 'Black' reservation here, but it's already taken. We can make a last minute reservation, but it'll cost you a small 'last minute fee'=/\= the response came.

=/\=Fine...=/\= Evans sighed...=/\=Let's make a reservation for the shuttle Paramount...=/\=

=/\=Very good, sir... What name should I put it on?=/\=

=/\=Ah, yes, that would be Kathleen Black and Ronald Evans...=/\=

A short radio silence followed after he mentioned his name, but it finally came back to life again. =/\=Sorry sir, I didn't know it was you... Your space has been reserved for you... Here's the coordinates...=/\= a suddenly nervous operator answered...

=/\=Thank you... I think...=/\=

"Well, that was weird..." he said after closing the channel, and handing over control to the automatic landing service.

"Do you come here often?" Kitty teased, the warm milk calming her down a little. "Do a bit of gambling now and then?" <tag>

"Yes, there's a few cross-universe places I like to go to now and then..." Evans teased back. "I have no idea what that was all about, though..."

"Apparently the 'other you' is a bit of a carouser," Kitty chuckled. "Either that, or a brother or cousin of the same name, over here... Apparently enough to be considered a preferred customer." She thought about that for a moment. "On the other hand, neither 'Ronald' nor 'Evans' is a very uncommon name."

"Hm, I guess you're right..." Evans mused, not giving it a lot more thought. His mind was occupied by checking that the automatic landing system was doing it's job, and it did. They landed on a spot between several luxury shuttles, and the VIP entrance to the casino was not far away. Evans opened the hatch, and they both stepped out and headed for the door, arm in arm.

A big gorilla type in a smoking stepped to the side immediately, nodding politely. "I like the new look boss..." he said. Evans just nodded back, not having a clue what he was talking about...

Kitty smiled to the 'gorilla type', whose compliment went entirely over her head. After all, people use all kinds of slang for 'valued customer', right? She was far more occupied trying to figure out the instructions. "The entrance nearest the parking lot, that would have to be this one... two floors down.. turn left, then right, then left again.. then take the second right... then... the left fork.. and.. look for the bar." She gave Evans a hopeful but worried smile, stepping neatly beside him, her heels clicking slightly. "That isn't too hard, is it?"

"Eh, to be honest, you lost me at 'the entrance nearest the parking lot..." he joked a bit. "Man, this place looks pretty lavish, at least from the entrance..."

They walked through the building, following the instructions that Kitty received as best as they could...

Kitty was muttering the instructions as they continued on... she had to adapt them slightly. "The second right" turned out to be the Only right, and the only way to find a left fork was to go past another hallway and down a half-flight of stairs. "You'd thought he'd have mentioned that," Kitty said worriedly, as she neared the doorway. "And there should be a bar here..." And so there was.

"You sure this is the right place?" Evans asked, as he looked around. "We seem to be a bit overdressed for the occasion..." he said, using his skill of understatement to it's fullest extend

"It's where he said it would be... mostly..." Kitty said, glancing around in trepidation. It was a noisy room, people laughing as they played various card games at nearby tables. Almost everyone had a bottle of bear or something stronger at their elbow. In the distance, two people got into a pushing fight that was broken up pretty quickly by the casino security. Kitty spotted the sour-faced bartender and then glanced back at Evans. "I guess I'll... go up and get something to drink," she said nervously. "So that I'm visible," she added, looking as if she would rather not be.

"Hm, I reallly don't like this place... Want me to stick with you?" Evans asked.

Kitty smiled and shook her head, reaching up for a moment to touch Evans' cheek lovingly. "I'll be alright if you keep an eye on me. Besides, I.. well... don't take it wrong, but I think I need to ask my questions and hear the answers by myself. ...is that ok?"

...Ehm, Ok... I'll go off to the little boy's room then... I'll be back soon. Keeping my eye on you. He kissed her cheek and patted her shoulder. "Good luck..."

Kitty smiled, drawing comfort from his presence. "Don't be gone too long," she said nervously, then drew up her courage and stepped over to the bar. As she passed one table, someone whistled at her. She was almost trembling slightly with her nervousness by the time she sat down at one of the barstools and ordered a mixed juice drink.

At the same time, another man was traipsing the less sophisticated parts of his casino... He was wearing black pants, a white blouse, polished black shoes, and had his jacket under his arm. His face was adorned with a small goatee, but other than that, he could be a dead ringer for Ronald Evans... Even his name was Ronald Evans, and he was peeved... Not only had his squad of goons still been unable to find that one drifter woman that gave him the shag of a lifetime, but now someone had the unmitigated gall to park in HIS space! Someone was going to get fired for that... He had managed to calm himself down, and he set off to the more rowdy parts of his 'house of entertainment' to go and look for some *ahum* prospect employees. And that's when he saw her, sticking out like a sore thumb, in that beautiful red dress...

He looked around the bar, to see if she really was alone, and it looked like she was... So, he shrugged his shoulders and stepped up to her...

Kitty turned as she sensed someone approaching, and at first glance she didn't notice the goatee. She thought she recognized her boyfriend and 'bodyguard', deciding to come sit with her despite her previous instructions, and she felt honestly glad of his solid company. Her features brightened in a soft smile. "Decided to come and join me, did you?" she asked, the soft affection coming out in her voice.. and then her smile faded slightly to puzzlement as something didn't seem.. quite.. the same about this Ronald Evans.

Ronald Evans looked at his new prize-to-be, and put a hand on her knee. "Sure, a beautiful woman like you just needs company..." he said in the slickest way he could.

Kitty blinked, turning shy at this sudden show of forwardness. She hadn't quite been expecting that, after all the mayhem from the last time he was a little too forward. She blushed, bewildered by the slick tone but secretly pleased at the compliment. Then she looked up at his face and froze, her dark eyes looking into his, drawn in, unable to glance away, becoming even more disconcerted and a little frightened by what she saw lurking there...

"I wouldn't want anything bad happen to you, you seem such a nice girl" he said, as he moved his hand up her leg, very sleekly...

At the same moment, Lieutenant Evans returned from the toilets, seeing Kitty being courted by another guy... "Hey, what the..."

As his hand began to move, a wave swept suddenly over Kitty, generated on a completely different wavelength than the one this man was broadcasting. She felt it like an electric shock through her entire body, and the entire scene turned unreal. One thought was ringing through her head. <This isn't Evans.> She saw simple lust in his eyes, no love, as if she were an object. Evans would not treat her that way. Her mind cleared as she saw every single detail of his face sharply, and part of her brain wondered why she hadn't noticed the goatee before.

But his hand was continuing to wander up her leg, encroaching on territory she did not mean to share. She had to stop him. Without any clear order from her conscious brain, she moved. She slipped slightly off the barstool, her left foot finding ground, her left leg flexing slightly to take her weight and stabilize her balance. Then the Mai Ling Knee took action.

Kathleen Black had been blessed from birth with the Mai Ling Knee. Her entire slender form had been inherited - along with most of her facial features - from her maternal side. She was attractively slender, well-proportioned, and maintained her agile figure no matter what she ate. The pounds simply melted away, leaving her with a spare form that never seemed to acquire the post-adolescence padding of the typical woman. Her knee in particular deserved special mention, a slender, pointed thing, delicately molded. It was topped by the all-important kneecap, a domed, thick bone with apparently nothing but a layer of smooth skin between it and its target.

The rest of her body adjusted automatically to drive power behind it's thrust, left leg uncoiling like a spring, arms already counter-swinging in balance, as the Mai Ling Knee shot up like a newly-released pinball and, with unerring accuracy, buried itself about an inch deep into that vulnerable organ in a primitive, instinctive blow meant to end his interest in her body and put a lengthy crimp in related bedroom activities. The point of contact was accompanied by a peculiar, slightly muffled sound that sounded sort of like "thrunch" and an inarticulate cry of shock heard from any unfortunate patron of the male gender who had seen this decisive blow.

Ronald Evans doubled over at the perfectly executed strike at his family jewels, and sank down to the bar's floor, gasping for air. At the same time, Lieutenant Evans saw the whole thing happening, and had to resist the urge to grab his crotch as he winced at Kitty's latest action. He could only stand there for a moment, as he already saw a few bouncers heading up to the fighting 'couple'...

Kitty didn't even notice the attention she'd caused. Her ears were ringing slightly in her sudden fury, the adrenaline rush still making everything she saw come out in slightly unreal but sharp detail. She reached behind her without even looking, and her hand closed around the neck of a bottle of whiskey. She dropped down on one knee, bringing the bottle down repeatedly on any part of the hapless perpetrator she could reach.. shoulders, back, and even his head if he wasn't quick enough to tuck it in. The bottle didn't break on the first blow, or the second, or the third, and she let out screams of fury as she continued to hammer away at him, the frustration of the last couple of weeks finally catching up to her all at once.

Lieutenant Evans finally got himself together, and sprinted towards her girlfriend. "Kitty! Cool down! I'm sure he'll never do it again, whatever he did!" he said, trying to get hold of the arm that was swinging the bottle. And it was also about then that the bouncers reached them too.

Kitty pivoted as his hand reached for her arm, changing the bottle's trajectory, and just in time she saw the face she truly recognized, the concerned look, the genuine affection for her. She pulled in her arm just a fraction, just in time. The bottle whizzed less than an inch away from her boyfriend's face and shattered against the bar, showering them both in a fine spray of whiskey. She blinked, finally fully realizing what she was doing, and her hand jerked back, dropping the broken bottleneck as if it was red-hot.

"Whoa! What's wrong with you, Lieutenant?" Evans asked, calling her by her rank, hoping to snap her out of it. He pulled her into his arms... "What just happened?" he asked.

Kitty blinked, looking up at him, then threw her arms around him, holding him tightly as she could, bursting into tears. "He had his hand on my leg.." she sobbed, nearly incoherently. "And he tried to.. to..." The wild sobs intensified. "I want to go home!"

He pulled her up on his feet, and pulled her with him. "Let's get out of here..." he said, but just then, he bumped into one of the bouncers... "Oh, hello..."

"Eh, Boss, mr. Evans Sir? What are you doing here?" the goon-esque man asked Lieutenant.

"Eh, I eh, Nothing... Just passing through..." Evans stammered, his eyes wide like the ones from a deer caught in the high-beams of an oncoming truck

"Stop them!" Ronald Evans cried from the ground, in a slightly higher pitched voice... "Don't let them get away!"

Kitty gave another broken sob and then lapsed into silence, sensing Evans' sudden nervousness. She looked from one Evans to the other and up at the nearby bouncers, then pulled back a little from her boyfriend's embrace, eyes narrowing. Obeying a genetic call she didn't understand, she shifted her balance, looking ready to attack the next person who touched her.

"Eh..." the bouncer muttered, as he looked at Ronald Evans, back to Lieutenant Evans, and back to Ronald Evans again... "Who's the real Evans?" he asked himself...

Lieutenant Evans thought fast and didn't hesitate. "I am, pick up that guy from the floor and let us through." he said, moving to go past the bouncer.

"Hey, I'm the one with the goatee, you idiot! Grab'em!" Ronald Evans yelled again, picking himself up from the floor, hoisting himself up by a barstool.

"Good point." the bouncer said in return, and he and a few colleagues grabbed the two lieutenants, and took them away to a lockable room.

Kitty didn't go easily. She tried to pull away from the bouncer's grasp, struggling, and managed to get in a good kick in the shins before she was pushed into the room. It didn't deter a big guy like that, of course.. she had spent her adrenaline-induced rage and she wasn't a fighter.

"Ow!... Oi, that was completely unnecesary!" The bouncer yelled at the kick, and locked the door he just shoved the lady in red through.

When Lieutenant Evans got his bearings again, he just looked around. They were in a sparsely decorated room with no windows, just one door. There was an old couch, however. "Hmf, Welcome to the 'Pot of Gold Casino'... Well, at least I know I would have been stupid enough to open up a casino in this place..." he said sarcasticly.

Kitty kicked the locked door one last time to relieve her feelings, and whimpered in pain as the door didn't give. "Ow ow..." She sighed and looked around the room, then back at her boyfriend. "I'm sorry..." she started.

"Heh, that's a fine mess we got ourselves into... But I don't want any sorrys, okay? We got into this mess together." he said, stepping up to her, and resolutely putting his arms around her.

Kitty looked for a moment as if she might start crying again, but she didn't. She simply rested in the embrace. "I did.. but you didn't. You didn't do anything wrong."

"Well... Technically..." Evans joked a bit, trying to lighten the mood, patpatting Kitty's back, and just plain cuddling her.

"I was just so scared, I didn't know what I was thinking..." Kitty began to calm down a little, his comforting working its magic on her troubled mind. Then she felt another rise of panic. "W-what's going to happen to us?"

Evans eyes popped open again... He hadn't thought of that. "Uh, I ... Idunno..." he said. "Well, we didn't steal any money, or hurt anyone... Well... Without good reason..." he mumbled. "I honestly don't know..."

There was a knock on the door, and the sound of a set of keys that was being used to open it again. The lieutenants could hear the voice of one of a woman, through the door. "I'm Susanna Levy, Securitymanager. We just want to talk, so stay calm, and I won't have to order Fairfax here to hurt you..."

"What the hell?!" Evans called out "You have got to be kidding me..."

"Excuse me?" It was heard from the other side again.

Kitty's eyes narrowed again. She had been calming down a bit, but she was still in fight-or-flight mode, and somehow the meek, shy engineer was weighted on the side of Fight. Her hand tightened into a fist.

Lieutenant Evans saw Kitty tensing up again, and turned to her. "Please, Kitty, calm down... If I know Susy, it's not only her out there, but a whole army of those gorilla's..."

"We'll be good!" he said to the woman outside the door.

"I'm sorry..." Kitty whispered, and made herself relax. She padded over to the couch, sat herself down, and pulled off her shoes, setting them aside.

"Very well... Open it, please" Susanna ordered Fairfax. As Lieutenant Evans predicted, there were several goons behind the door just in case. When they saw that the couple in the room were not behaving agressively, they stepped aside, to reveal not a tiny, but still small caucasian woman, with short red hair, and a small nose-piercing. She was actually wearing a beige business suit with a skirt, pumps with not-too-high-heels. She looked into the room, and was a bit startled to actually see her boss standing in the middle, missing his tell-tale goatee. She gathered her thoughts again. "Hm, I might recomend that clear chin-look to the boss... Who are you guys anyway?"

Kitty glanced at Evans and decided to speak first, her voice coming out surprisingly clear, as she was determined to show no sign of weakness towards someone she clearly regarded as a rival, little reason as she had. "Lieutenant Kathleen Black, USS Pegasus," she stated, then gave her serial number properly.

"Eh, well... Lieutenant Junior Grade Ronald Evans, USS Pegasus..." Evans followed up, also stating his serial after that. He couldn't help but feeling friendship toward the woman in front of him, and it pained him, that she didn't return the feeling...

"Now, you know, if I wouldn't have seen you myself, I would have some problems with that name... And to be frank, I still do." Susanna simply stated. "Well, at least we have a sure way of telling you apart..." she mused.

"Ms. Black, could we talk in private please." The tone of voice she used made it more of a demand than a request.

Kitty blinked and her eyes narrowed. The more Evans was predisposed towards this woman, the more Kitty disliked her. She opened her mouth to say "Anything you say to him can be said in front of me," but her common sense was beginning to return. So what came out instead was "Alright," as she rose and padded over to the corner of the room, turning to watch the two of them.

Susanna blinked, and then actually smiled at the simple mistake. "Ehm, actually, I wanted to talk to YOU in private... Please come with us. Don't worry, we just want to know what just happened."

"Me?" Kitty frowned, then nodded. "Uhm.. alright." She glanced at Evans, then slipped her shoes back on. "No trouble," she promised.

"You promise she'll be alright?" Evans more demanded than asked too, playing into a friendship that actually didn't exist..

"She will be fine. As will you." Susanna sighed...

After that, she took Kitty by her arm, firmly but not hurting her, and guided her to another room, also with no windows, but a table, two chairs, and a recordingdevice.

"Okay, Just for the record, we'll be recording this. Interviewer, Susanna Levy, interviewee, Lieutenant Kathleen Black... Okay, where shall we start. Just state your name, and where you're from, and what you're doing here. We'll continue from there."

Kitty gave this woman no trouble, though something in her dearly wanted to. She once again stated her name, ship, and serial number. "I came here to meet another Starfleet officer, but I haven't seen him."

"Okay, and who would that be?" Susanna asked. She did have a very good idea, as she had been going through the parking reservations to find out who had parked on her boss' private parking space.

"Lieutenant Commander Regulus Black," Kitty responded, her tone a little quieter. "I was supposed to meet him at the bar."

"Mhm, I see... Well, he has a kind of peculiar taste to pick out that specific one... But moving on, what the hell happened? Your version." Susanna stated matter of factly, mentally noting to try and talk to this Regulus guy...

"I.. I felt threatened, I guess," Kitty admitted, the nervousness beginning to creep back into her voice. "He came right up to me, and I thought he was.. well..." And in that moment, the strength came back into her voice as the Alpha Female in her made a bid for dominance. "Was my boyfriend. But then he was putting his hand up my leg, and I felt... frightened.. and then angry.. and then he was on the ground."

Susanna sighed "Dang..." She stopped the recording and pushed the erase button. "Not what I wanted to hear... Oops, we never started recording... I guess we'll just have to do this another time... I'll take you back to... ehm... Evans now..."

Kitty blinked and was on her feet almost immediately, eyes flashing in anger. "You erased it!" She couldn't believe what she'd just seen. <tag>

"No, we never started recording... Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way. Ronald Evans... Eh... My boss, that is, is a highly respected person in this area, and we can't have these... rumors... being spread around about this unfortunate incident. Just stay calm and keep quiet, and we'll just turn you over to your superiors, no harm done. Alright?" Susanna said, not even blinking with her eyes. "Oh, Fairfax, would you escort miss black back to our guestroom, please?"

Kitty blinked and her eyes narrowed as she slowly understood the full portent of Susanna's words. "If he's highly respected..." she spat out angrily, "I'd hate to hear what you'd have to do to become a person of ill repute."

"It's not what you do, it's who you know, miss Black..." Susanna stated flatly.

"Oh, so that's what 'highly respected' means on this side of the wormhole," Kitty said acidly.

"Yeah... That's what it means here..." Susanna said with a sad tone in her voice. "Wait a second, other side of the wormhole? You're from that crossed over Pegasus? Wow, amazing..."

Kitty didn't thaw any, even hearing the saddened tone. She was simply too angry.. and a bit frightened. "Yeah, I am..." she said, and instinctively went for the same argument, true this time, that countless women had used as a safeguard. "And my captain knows where I've gone and when I'm expected to be back," she added.

Susanna raised an eyebrow at that response... "Well, he wouldn't be much of a captain if he wouldn't... Wait a second, you think we're going to make you 'disappear'?!" she said, making quote signs with her fingers and after that she just burst out laughing... "Who do you think we are, the maffia?! Oh my, that's a good one..."

Kitty blushed hotly. "Well, look at the way you're treating me!" she burst out. "The big muscled goons everywhere, the locked room, erasing my statement because it didn't agree with what you wanted to hear, threatening me... What am I _supposed_ to think you are?"

"We're running a casino here, not some private army! How long do you think we'd be in business if people just start to disappear after visiting this establishment?! We just put our word against yours, and we'll win with our hands down. You're not a threat!" Susanna explained. "Come on, Fairfax'll take you back to our 'guestquarters'. I'll ask Carstairs to put a pot of coffee there. You earned it, after making me laugh that hard..."

<Petrova will believe me> was Kitty's immediate thought, but she didn't say it out loud. Instead she just settled that thought into a fiery glare, her arms crossing in front of herself protectively. She was furious, frustrated, tired.... very tired... and the next words just formed from somewhere, delivered not in an angry tone, but a quieter, more even voice. She wasn't even sure why she said it. "And you're happy doing this, are you? Does it make you feel good?"

Susanna stood up fiercely, she didn't feel good about it, but it was what she did, to survive out here. The casino was a source of income for the whole community, and was vital for the federation, or at least what was left of it... But she wasn't proud of her boss, and some of the practices used to keep it running. "Watch your tongue, lady..." she said, in a hissing voice, but looked down after she said it. "...No, I'm not..." she finally added. "This conversation is now over. Fairfax, take her back please."

Fairfax took Kity's arm again, firmly but not hurting her. "Please come with me." he said. And there they went, back to that room, leaving a saddened Susanna behind.

And a thought flashed into Kitty's mind, as she was led away, thinking not primarily of her own safety, but of this mirror version of Evans' former girlfriend. A repeat of Susanna's words to her....

<She's no threat.>


Check please!:

Lieutenant Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus The one who lived

Lieutenant Jg. Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer USS Pegasus "I'm looking in the mirror, and I don't like what I see..."

Ronald Evans (NPC) Propriator 'Pot of Gold Casino'

Fairfax (and to a lesser extend Carstairs) Goons 'Pot of Gold Casino'

Susanna Levy (NPC) Security Manager 'Pot of Gold Casino'

played by Lt. Jg. Ronald Evans