A Mirror Shattered #254, 255 - "Alpha Male"


[Pot of Gold Casino, the Posh Bar]

Susanna Levy was still thinking about the instructions that she got from one of the conversations with Kitty Black and Ronald Evans. The way they were given, and assuming the starting point was the VIP parking place, it was still a one in 10 chance that they would have ended up in *that* particular bar. However, what if they should have used the regular parking? In that case, the directions *did* make sense... They would have ended up in 'the Posh Bar'. And that was where she and Carstairs were heading, trying to look for this third person, Lieutenant Commander Black. According to the Reservationpapers, he did arrive some hours ago, and he didn't leave yet. Perhaps they'd get lucky.

Lt. Cmdr. Regulus Black sat at the table, looking at his empty glass. The waiter had offered to refill it, but he'd refused. He'd wanted to face this young woman with a clear head. But now it seemed that he wouldn't face her at all. She didn't show. He wasn't sure if he was disappointed, losing the chance to meet the daughter he might have had... or relieved, that he wouldn't have to explain to her why she didn't exist in this universe.

"Well, another needle in a haystack..." Susanna muttered, and Carstairs just nodded in agreement. "We could just ask at the bar. See if he's been putting drinks on his tab, or something."

"I think I know how to do my job, Carstairs." Susanna almost sneered back, and stepped to the bar, asking it anyway. "Do you know if there's a 'Black' here?"

"Lemme check, ma'am" the waiter responded, and he started manipulating his console. "Yup, there's a tab still open on his name... Wow... One lousy whiskey... Big spender..."

"Yes thank you." Susanna cut him off. "Where is he?"

The bartender pointed in the general direction of where he had last seen Regulus trod off to. "I think over there somewhere. He's in uniform. Can't miss him."

"You are most helpful" Susanna answered sarcasticly.

Regulus finally set back his glass and rose, stretching out his legs a little. He had to realize that he couldn't wait forever. He'd just have to send the girl a mail when he got back to his office, to let her know he understood if she decided she couldn't brave the meeting.

At the same time, Susanna was searching franticly between the people to find just one of 'em. "How many starfleet officers are there anyway?!" she sighed. If she didn't know better, she would have thought that the whole of what was left in starfleet, was sitting in this bar. "This is no use..." she said, and she took a deep breath, and pulled open her full volume. "I would like to speak to Lieutenant Commander Black, PLEASE!" The whole room went silent for a moment, to look at the small figure with the large voice...

...and Regulus started towards the woman, recognizing his own name being bellowed across the room. "I am here," he said, his tone businesslike. "Is there a problem, miss?" He was middle-aged and spoke with authority.

Finally..." Susanna sighed yet again. "You could say that. We would like to talk to you about your daughter. In private. Please follow me." It was less of a request than the words alone would suggest, as Carstairs already was moving in a position that would not leave any other alternative for Regulus Black to do anything else than follow the small security manager.

"My daughter?" Regulus asked in surprise, then blinked a couple of times and slowly figured it out. "Is she alright? I was supposed to meet her here." He noticed Carstairs moving in position and gave a wry chuckle. "There's no need for that, I'm coming." He obediently followed the security manager.

Carstairs just grunted, and just did his job, making sure that this Black wouldn't pull anything too. Regulus too was lead to a debriefing room. Two sparse but not really uncomfortable chairs, a table, a jug of water and two soft plasitc cups, and a recording device. "Please sit down." Susanna said, as she sat down herself. "Be informed that this conversation is being recorded, blahdieblahdieblah.. Interviewer Susanna Levy, Interviewee, please state your name..."

"Should I be informing Starfleet legal counsel about this?" Regulus asked, frowning as he leaned back in the chair. He thought a moment, then nodded. "Lieutenant Commander Regulus Black." He gave a serial number, but no posting. "Are you going to tell me what this is about?"

"Okay, I'll cut to the chase. We have in custody one Lieutenant Kathleen "Kitty" Black, and one Lieutenant Junior Grade Ronald Evans, for the unprovoked attack on the owner of the establishment, my boss, Ronald Evans. Yes, you'd swear they're looking in a mirror, except for that goatee that my chef is insisting of not shaving off. We want to know what you know."

Regulus blinked, then leanded forward a little. He picked up the pitcher of water, filling both cups, then offered one gallantly to his interrogator. "I know that she is from the new starship, the one that came from another reality. In that other reality, the 'other me' is her father. That is why she wanted to contact me. I gave her directions to the bar. She hadn't mentioned bringing an escourt, but if she is like my grandmother, she's a cautious girl. I couldn't think why she'd attack anybody..... unless provoked. Granted, I have only corresponded with her through written correspondence."

"HmmmmOkay..." Susanna mumbled. "The instructions you gave her, did not end up in the bar you were waiting for her, but in a completely other one... 'Bar None'... " she said, lying a little bit, just to see his reaction.

Regulus frowned. He repeated the set of directions, identical to the directions that Kitty was using. "From the main entrance, that should have got her there..." Then he blinked at the name of the area where she Did turn up. "Oh no... Where is she now?"

"She's in our ahum... Special guest quarters... Don't worry, they're well looked after." Susanna replied. Things were getting clearer and clearer for her. "The MAIN entrance you said? Not the VIP entrance?"

"Of course, the main entrance," Regulus said, starting to grow more concerned over this girl he hadn't even met in person. "What makes you think I'd direct a couple of newcomers to the VIP entrance? How do you think I'd expect them to get inside?"

"Evans and Evans?" she took a zip of her water. "Thanks." She sat back a bit, and thought, looking at the man in front of him. "Is there anything else you might know that we might have missed?"

"Yeah," Regulus said, his gaze suddenly just a little too shrewd. "I know what I am like, and I know what her mother was like.. at least, what she was like on this side of reality. Not the type of person to attack... unprovoked... but not someone to let anyone make a doormat out of her either."

"That's this side of the Mirror, mister Black... There is a reason they won the war on the other side of the Mirror. Could be that they were lucky, had some sort of break that we had to do without, or that they are just plain old dirty double-crossing cheaters. I hope and think that it's the first one, but I can't rule out the latter one. I hope you see my point." She just added. "I think I've heard enough. Don't cause any trouble, because we'll be keeping an eye on you." And with that, Susanna ended the recording. "Carstairs, would you point our guest back to the Posh bar, please."

Regulus rose from his chair and spoke quietly. "I would like to speak with.. my daughter.. before I leave this establishment."

"She is not your daughter, mister Black... Request denied... Oh Carstairs?" Carstairs opened the door, and just grunted again.

Regulus straightened up with a slight sigh, nodding. "I see... I work in the Weapons Division at Starfleet Command. As such, I have access to restricted areas and maintain contact with.. important.. personnel. I can request an Admiral to ensure that you are given.. aid.. in your investigation." A dirty trick, he knew. But in this place, he'd learned to use them well. "If you cannot make the decision to allow me to meet with her, then I would like to speak to your boss."

Susanna gulped at that one, checked her notes real quickly, saw that Regulus *could* be talking the truth. She scratched her head a bit, and looked around. "Ehm, yeah... ehm..." she cleared her throat and took a zip of water. "Well, I may be able to arrange something, but I insist that I be present at that conversation. Can't have you handing her a weapon, or something. "

"Present, but giving enough space to allow a private conversation. If I hand her anything, you will be able to see it," Regulus counter-proposed. He really did not need this woman listening in to frank discussions of his past.

Susanna thought for a while... "Deal." she finally said, with not the tinyest bit if venom. She was used of being the strongarmer, not the strongarmee... "When?" she just added.

"Immediately," Regulus said with a nod, controlling his own pleased feelings in his reaction. There was no need to give her the feeling that he was 'lording it over her'. He'd learned long ago, if he was not engaged in 'active conversational combat', to keep his 'claws sheathed'.

"Fine... Carstairs, will you get the lady, please?" "Yes ma'am..." Carstairs responded, and went off to get Kitty, closing the door behind him.

Regulus sat back in his chair, satisfied, waiting.

Susanna got up from her chair, and took another sip of her plastic cup of water. <Ok, where did this go wrong?> she thought to herself.


Taking charge:

Lt. Cmdr. Regulus Black (NPC'd by Kathleen Black)

Susanna Levy (NPC'd by Ronald Evans)

Carstairs (NPC'd by Ronald Evans)