Trojan Horse #51- Girls' Night In


Kitty made her way back into the main part of the lounge, having successfully communicated her concerns to Evans, now waiting the arrival, or at least communication, with the two crewmembers who might be able to help them figure out what to do. She looked around at the working replicators, a couple of crew members using them to replicate spare parts.. at least, the parts that didn't require so much power that replicating them would be unhelpful. She sat herself down in the corner and sighed, wiggling her toes a little, looking at the replicators and secretly thinking of ice cream.

"Knock knock!" A voice came from the door, and Hannah stuck her head round it. "Are you free, Ms Black?"

Kitty looked up, then chuckled at the sight of her friend. She rose to her feet, stretching a little. "Free for the moment. Tell me nothing ELSE has blown up or burned down, please?"

"Not as yet, although something really weird happened."

"The computer suddenly showed more intelligence than you'd expect it to, especially under the circumstances," Kitty guessed as she headed to the doorway to join Hannah.

"Something like that." Hannah said. "I went to replicate a new uniform to replace my...less than professional state of dress," She grinned wryly as she referred to her tight halter-neck and short shorts, "and it replicated me these." She brought her hands from behind her back to reveal two bowls of ice-cream.

Kitty blinked, then just sat down on the nearest chair and had herself a good laugh. "You are incorrigable!" She then eyed the nearest bowl. "And you're 'incorriging' me. I should have pulled rank and gotten a uniform and proper boots for myself." She glanced at the bowl again. "But ice cream works."

Hannah grinned. "I think we should convince the CO to let us wear these clothes more often - I think a Casual Friday policy should be instituted."

"Are you kidding? You try!" Kitty's eyes stayed on that ice cream bowl. "He and I.. well.. I'm sure he appreciates my work, but I've had a few.. talkings-down." She chuckled. "It's gonna melt."

Hannah passed her a bowl, and headed for a couch. She tucked into it with a will. "Why would he talk you down? You're the hardest worker here."

"Oh, it wasn't about working. And I can see what he means," Kitty said quietly, joining Hannah on the couch with her ice cream. "I overslept once, and was late to my station during red alert afterwards. Ohh, this is good." She started eating away at the ice cream. "I'm gonna get fat..."

"Whatever." Hannah dismissed her worries with a wave. "As long as you're not bigger than your boyfriend, you'll probably be alright. How are things with Big Ev?"

"Big Ev? I want to be there when you call him that to his face." Kitty chuckled. "He's ok, he's probably still in back, giving Letek something to do. And sometimes I wonder who's caused more mayhem. The whole casino trip was my idea, you know, and I'm the one who attacked the owner."

"And injured yourself in the process." Hannah giggled. "You know, you really should let me show you some maneuvers some time - they're real easy, and it'll mean you can defend yourself without injury."

"I know some already. I passed the basic combat training in the Engineering section of the Academy." Kitty smiled, savoring another bite of ice cream. "It's just like my brain turned off. First thing I knew he was trying to put his hand up my leg. The next thing I knew, I was bludgeoning him with a whiskey bottle and Evans was trying to stop me."

Hannah grinned. "You gotta spot them before they get to that stage." She thought back to her life pre-Starfleet, when her job had effectively been to flirt with important people until they did what her father wanted. She had got very, very good at it, and even better at spotting when to back off, or to move conversation in an alternate direction to avoid things getting too serious.

"Well, I haven't frequented many casino bars in my life," Kitty said ruefully. "Ok, make that, 'I've frequented one casino bar in my life.' Uh, if you can call it 'frequenting' when you only do it once. Ok, ok, so I've only been to a bar once in my life, and that was it. I already know I'm an engineering geek." She dipped her spoon in the ice cream a couple of times before taking her next bite.

Hannah grinned. "On our next shore leave, you and me'll have to hit the town - have a girl's night out."

"Is it safe?" Kitty blinked, looking at Hannah, her eyes... well... those Asian eyes could never quite be round. But they were rounder than usual.

"If you use your common sense." Hannah shrugged. "Just hold onto your drink, and keep an eye out, and you won't have a problem."

"Why do you go places where you have to keep an eye out? Isn't it... well.. nerve-wracking?" As Kitty was looking at her friend, another thought kept running through her head, her alternate-universe father talking about her mother bar-hopping.

"It's exciting!" Hannah countered. "Sometimes taking risks can be more fun than just staying safe." She noticed Kitty's unsure expression. "What?"

Kitty smiled wryly. "Yeah, I know about taking risks, believe it or not. I've done some dangerous things in my life, even though I haven't been to bars. You know what, though? The guy who would have been my father, in the other universe... he said my mother went bar-hopping. He said he met her at a bar."

"Is that a problem for you?" Hannah asked curiously.

Kitty looked down at her ice cream bowl. "Well, not a Problem, per say... I mean.. well... you know what? I saw my mother at special occasions. I saw her once every few years. She came to my graduations. She came when I won that music composition contest and a real orchestra played the piece I wrote. Whenever she came, we'd spend some time together. We'd... well, go clothes-shopping. She always looked as if she needed to be somewhere else, and it bored me. She never seemed to know what to say to me, and I never really knew what she wanted me to say to her."

"Huh." Hannah said, uncharacteristically at a loss for words. "That kinda sucks."

"And now... well, I was told often enough when I was really young that she's a fighter pilot. But until I heard that the alternate universe her had died in battle, a hero, making the enemy pay dearly for her life... I never really, really thought about that before, about what it means. And I'm starting to wonder if she's not the clothes-shopping kind, if she just did it because she didn't know what I'd really Like to do. And I wonder, when I find myself taking risks..." The engineering geekette stirred her spoon in the melting remnants of her mostly-finished ice cream. "When I... secretly.. quietly.. want to go really-really fast..." She blushed pink.

"There's nothing wrong with taking risks, hon." Hannah said, smiling confortingly.

Kitty chuckled at that, still a bit embarrassed. "It isn't entirely 'in character' for an engineer who plays the cello, is it?"

"Who cares?" Hannah grinned. "It's not exactly 'in character' for me to just sit still and eat ice-cream, and yet here I am. And to be honest, there aren't many places I'd rather be." She smiled happily

"Why isn't it?" Kitty smiled, starting to eat the last bits of her puddled ice cream again. "Most of the time I've spent with you, we've been doing just that."

"Yeah, but before I came on this ship..." Hannah's voice faded.

"Before you came on this ship what?" Kitty pressed. "I mean, you can tell me if I'm being nosy. But I Did tell you about my secret interest in going really fast." She hadn't had a 'girl's night' in ages... actually, she'd rarely had any. But somehow she still knew how to 'play the game'.

Hannah shrugged. "Ever since the whole thing with my Dad...well, I've never really had any friends. Those that I had soon deserted me after his arrest - 'sins of the father', and all that, y'know?"

She sighed. "Before I came here, I'd spend most of my time alone in my quarters, in the gym, or out partying with people I'd never met before."

"I came to embrace the anonymity - I'd hook up with a guy for a night, and then leave before he woke up the next morning. I'd give fake names, and just run back to the ship. On the ship, I sealed myself off - I figured if I never let anyone get close to me, they...they couldn't betray me like my father did."

Kitty frowned as she listened, then remained quiet a moment longer to think about that. "Well, it's a shame," she said. "Those poor people. They really missed out." She thought again about the last bit. "Well, what about me, then? I don't think I ever betrayed anybody."

"I don't follow." Hannah said, a little confused.

"Which part?" Kitty leaned back, relaxing a bit. "You said you don't let anyone get close so that they couldn't betray you. But we're ice cream buddies, aren't we? And all those other people who didn't get to know you, they missed out."

Hannah grinned. "I guess." She shrugged happily. "When I came here, it was just...different, y'know? No-one...well, almost no-one, cared where I came from, or what my father had done, or anything. I guess I let my guard down."

"Well, I think that's a good thing!" Kitty smiled and offered a hi-five. "This is a great place! It's the first place where nobody's been irked about me getting possessive with the engines."

Hannah grinned. "Maybe we should start a fan club."

"A USS Pegasus fan club?" Kitty started laughing. "We'd need a mascot!"

"I'll put my thinking cap on." Hannah said.She checked her watch. "Shoot - I'm needed down in Torpedo Control. I said I'd go check in on them."

"And I've got to go get weapons and shields functional before our 'tugboat' arrives." Kitty put aside her dish. "I can recycle both of those here, if you want to go ahead. You know, I feel all the better for this break.. and the ice cream. Thank you for bringing it!"

"No problem." Hannah smiled, and gave her a hug. "See you in a bit, yeah?"

Kitty hugged back and nodded. "In a few hours, I think I'll deserve a good long break. I'll see you unless I fall asleep first."

Hannah headed out the door, giving her a cheeky salute as she left.


Lieutenant Kitty Black Chief Engineering Officer USS Pegasus

Lieutenant Hannah O'Driscoll Chief Tactical Officer USS Pegasus