Trojan Horse #14-15 - "Search for Shower"


[Hallway leading to engineering, a few minutes after being booted from the bridge]

Evans was given a direct order, one that he could live with, actually... So he had gone to a turbolift, only to notice that they were out too... So he had opened the tube, and went down by ladder. A brisk descent later, he found himself on the same deck as engineering, and it was only a short walk to those tall doors... He was quite worried, though, as he saw the damage increase, the further he got to engineering. The unmistakable scent of burned out electronics that could be smelled throughout the ship was even stronger here. When he arrived to the doors leading to the engineering section, he noticed they didn't open. <Well, only one way...> he thought, as he opened the panel, revealing the manual override lever, and he started pumping. A sight of relief escaped him, as he saw the doors open several centimeters for every pull of the lever...

He peered inside of the engineeringbay, and felt a wave of angst creep up on him... The bay was as silent as it had ever been, except for some stumbling, and it was eerily lit by a few small spots... Barely enough to make up sillhouettes of parts of the bay. "Kitty?..." Evans almost whispered, in tune with the atmosphere. "Kitty?" A bit louder, this time...

"Ronald?" His second call got an answer, and one of the dark shapes started making it's way towards him, limping slightly. The voice was Kitty's, of course. Her tone sounded wryly amused as she reached out her arms in an expression of welcoming. "Welcome to Main Engineering," she quipped. Behind her, an engineer cursed quietly as the terminal he was trying to restore flooded temporarily with light, then spat several sparks at him and promptly died. "How's the bridge?" Kitty asked, making her slow way through the darkness towards him.

"Oh, thank deity..." Evans whispered, hearing the voice of his girlfriend. He walked up to her, and closed her into his arms, giving her a tight squeeze. After releasing her again, he started answering her questions... "I love what you done with the place... Really... Gothic..." He smirked a bit, not that anyone could see that in the very dim light... "The bridge is pretty much in shambles too, however, the lights are still working there... Well, not all of them, of course... I got in a fistfight with my console..."

"Did you win?" Kitty was glad to gain that sheltered embrace and stayed close to him, even when he'd released her. "We've been losing our battles all over the ship. We're going to be working double and triple shifts for a while, looks like." She took a couple of steps to the side and tripped over an obstacle she couldn't even see. "Eep!" she squeaked.

As Kitty never really left Evans' arms, Ronald was quick to grab a hold of Kitty's arm, allowing him to break Kitty's fall. "Hey there! Watch it!" he called out.

"I'm ok, I'm ok! Thanks." Kitty steadied and then smiled, not that it could be noticed except in her voice. "Did you come to help fix things? There's plenty for everybody." A shadowed arm gestured back towards the bits of lamplight.

"...Well..." Evans started. He had a pretty good idea how proud Kitty was of 'her' engines by now... "Commander LaBrie says that this ship will never come online again without some major drydock time... Primary lifesupport is alive and kicking, but everything else is pretty much beyond redemption, so we called for a tow, and he effectively ordered everyone to take the day off... At least, that's pretty much what he told me... So, here I am, ordered DIRECTLY to show you a good time... His words!" This time, the smile could be seen in the dim light, as the light reflected off his teeth...

Kitty blinked at that and was temporarily at a loss for words. The teeth glint just put the final gloss on his announcement! "The Captain... ordered you... to show me a good time?" She blinked again. "Are you sure he was.. well.. sane?" She'd had her share of talking-to from Caelen, and she managed to keep this feeling in her head somehow that he wasn't terribly pleased with his Chief Engineer.

"Well, not in that many words... But he told me to go and get you, and relax..." Evans pondered. "To be honest, that's an order I really don't have a lot of problems with... Let's be honest, I don't think we can get this core to shine without some serious help..."

"I agree with you," Kitty said easily. "The best we can do here is maybe salvage enough to get one or two terminals working and maybe even repair a replicator with the parts of all the others. But.. well... I've got no place to relax." She sighed a bit, regretfully. "Last damage report said that the bulkheads were down right near my quarters. I don't think I can even get to them. And all my spare uniforms are there."

Evans thought for a moment: "We could go to the messhall... Grab a coffee... We could even go and visit the holodeck, and simulate a washingmachine... The holodeck didn't have any redundant pathways yet, so it should still be operational..."

"Simulate a washing machine?" Kitty tilted her head for a moment, then chuckled. "Ok, ok, you've got me. I think I'd like a shower better, though. Hey... if you washed something in the holodeck, would it get dirty again when you exited?"

"I don't see why not... Hey, wait a second... Isn't this one of those new holodecks, with integrated replicators? We could even grab a meal... Oh, wait, we actually did grab a meal on that holodeck, right?"

"Yeah, we did, but the replicators are all down," Kitty said. "I don't know if we've got the power output to go replicating things through the holodeck like that. We'd probably better leave the holodeck alone..." She frowned for a bit, unseen in the dark, then her voice turned shy. "But if.. well.. it's silly. Well... if your quarters are ok... they'd have a shower..."

Evans looked down a bit... "Yeah, you're probably right... There's one problem with my quarters, though... I do have a roommate..." Evans smiled a bit sheepishly at that. "However, I think he'll be pretty busy dealing with the wounded for a while..."

"Yeah, that's why I haven't bothered going to Sickbay." Kitty stepped out into the pale (but more substantial) light of the hallway, smudges, geeky hairclip, and all. "Well, the only other thing I can think of is to check the gym and see if any part of it is functioning."

Ronald followed her out, and only now saw how grimey Kitty actually was... Her uniform had black smudges everywere, some tears. Her face was smudged too, and he was actually startled by the small trickel of blood on Kitty's face. "Ye flipping gods, what happened in there?..." he mumbled. Only now, he noticed that Kitty was slightly limping, so he quickly wrapped an arm around her for support. "What do you think happened?" Kitty welcomed the support, smiling softly. "The ship kept shaking and circuits kept blowing. We're lucky to have made it through that fight alive, never mind the trip back. I almost hoped the captain was kidding when he gave out the message that we were going back through. At least there wasn't any radiation contamination this time." She brushed uselessly at a couple of smudges on her uniform.

"Yeah, I know..." Ronald mumbled back. "But you look like you've been through hell... All limping and black soot everywhere... Come on, let's go to my room, and get you cleaned up... Oh damn, the elevators are out..."

"I can climb," Kitty said wearily. "The limping is fine, it's my knee, it wasn't the battle. Oh, a few seconds with a tissue regenerator and it'll be fine. I just don't like bothering Sickbay with a bruised knee when there are so many real injuries out there."

"Just some hot water would do me a world of good, I think," Kitty mused, starting to climb the stairway just ahead of him, doing a very good job of climbing smoothly in spite of her knee. "Except that I don't have anything to change into."

Kitty smiled. "That sounds fine to me. Better then going around in nothing, anyways!" She was entirely unconscious of the guy instinct to picture such things in his mind. "And a little big is better than a little too small," she added, only adding to it.

An audible *gulp* could be heard coming from Ronald, who was leading Kitty down the stairs to the deck that housed his quarters. "Eh, yeah... A lot better..." he agreed... <Not!... BAD EVANS!> he added in his mind.

As they reached deck 7, Evans stepped off the ladder, and didn't have to wait long for Kitty. He quickly helped her off the stairs, and on solid ground, or rather, deck... "This way, sweet..." he said, perhaps a bit redundantly.

Evans looked around too. "I never realised how much those dumb terminals make this place feel a lot more cozy. It's such an empty corridor now, without that incessant beeping. I guess it's going to take a while before it's nice and irritating again, to walk past one of those helpful terminals... Ah, here we are... Welcome, once again, to my humble dwelling, fair lady." Evans said, with a big grin.

"Yours and the good doctor's..." Kitty quipped as she stepped carefully over the threshold. "Right now, anything that's operational looks good.. Ahh... Which way is the shower?"

"Right here..." Evans said, pointing to a door inside his room. "Let me find a towel and that trainingsuit for you." he added, diving into his closet and his dufflebag, first thing. Then he stopped a moment. "...Or would you like a dr... No replicator... Darn, nevermind..."

Kitty chuckled. "They'll have non-replicated drinks in the lounge, I think. Ryylar is quick with the chocolate coffee." She hadn't been kept entirely up-to-date in Engineering... she'd had too much trouble trying to keep the ship from falling apart.

Evans' expression turned from slightly annoyed to sad, all of a sudden. "Ah, yes, about that... Ehm... " Ronald hesitated.

"Yes, what about it?" Kitty asked casually, then froze as she saw the look on his face. "...what is it? What's happened?"

Ronald looked up to Kitty, and made a poor attempt at trying to smile. "Ryylar is alive, that's not the problem, but he was badly hurt on a boarding mission. He was beamed to sickbay in critical condition..." he said softly. He had seen the transporterlog on his console.

"Oh..." Kitty's response nearly stuck in her throat. "But he's going to be ok, right?" She was instantly worried for her friend.

"Well, I eh... I don't know... No, he's going to be fine! I'm sure of it. Russel's checking on him personally, I bet..." Evans said, trying to sooth Kitty.

"I've got faith in Dr. Russell.." Kitty said, her voice choked slightly. "I know he'll do a good job." Then she quickly stepped, almost stumbled forward, reaching out, looking for a comforting hug.

Evans was only too happy to provide the hug, feeling the need for one himself. He locked his arms around Kitty's body, and squeezed her tight. "He's going to be alright... Have you looked at him lately? He's a bloody rock..." he wispered in her ear.

"Big and strong. Yeah..." She leaned into the hug, her shoulders shaking a little, until she calmed herself down. "We'll all be ok. There weren't any... deaths... were there?"

"One of the pilots, commanded by Wulfie... He took a complete ship with him, and probably saved all our lives." Evans answered. <And I'm a jerk for not remembering his bloody name...> he added in his mind.

"The most dangerous job on the ship, probably," Kitty said with a sigh, slowly releasing him and making her way to the bathroom again. "Though Engineering is catching up, I think. Which bathrobe is yours?" <tag>

"The pink one with the bunnies..." Evans joked, trying to lift the mood. "Just kidding, it's the pastel green towel-cloth one, with my name written in the label..."

"Oh, so it is." Kitty sounded a bit embarrassed as she stepped into the bathroom area and set the door to close nearly, but not quite enough to latch, so that they could hear each other. "Mine's silk," she said entirely too casually, then peeked around the edge of the door to watch his face.

Evans was already imagining Kitty in a skimpy little silk bathrobe, just before she peeked back. Evans felt like he was caught with his hand in the cookiejar, and as a result he flushed like a tomato... "Ehm, That's... eh... nice... Yeah..." he mumbled.

Kitty blinked and flushed a little, pink, looking a bit embarrassed. "I.. uhm... I don't, really..." she admitted. She didn't quite dare to go one step further, though, and admit that she'd said that just to get a reaction out of him...

Evans thought fast... <two can play that game, missy...> he thought mischievously, as he answered:"That's alright, once the replicators are up, I can make you one..."

Kitty flushed a little more and retreated behind the door. "That'd.. be..." She sounded amused and embarrassed, but not

<Score!... Oh, behave, lieutenant..> Evans thought, as another part of his brain was already thinking up how to specify his girlfriend's new bathrobe...

"Just go and take that shower... The sooner we can grab a bite..."

"Understood!" she said cheerily. "Are the laundry services working, do you know?"

"I don't know, but the underwear probably is." The shower started up. "Besides, the fabric they use for uniforms... can probably fix everything except a couple tears, and they're not that bad."

"Yeah, you're probably right." Evans answered. He lied down on his bunk, and just closed his eyes for a moment. He was pretty tired...

Kitty took her time in the shower, getting nice and clean, relaxing a bit... taking stock of various bumps and bruises.

It was time enough, for Ronald to drift away on the sound of the clattering waterfall that was the shower, and fall asleep. The occasional snore betraying his current state of counciousness.


Making do with the resources available:

Lieutenant Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus The one that lived

Lieutenant Jg. Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer USS Pegasus "Relaxing as ordered, Sir..."