Reflections #70, 71 - "The need not to know"


[Black residence, Half an hour past breakfast time]

Evans was just staring at his waffle cooling down. He wasn't crying, but he was not far off. Something he let slip, caused the course of the conversation to turn sour, turning an otherwise happy morning into a time of woe and sorrow... Kitty's grandparents had tried to pry more information out of him, but had soon given up. Ronald was no longer in the mood for talking, and had answered very shortly, or even not at all. Grandpa and Grandma Black had decided to let Ronald and Kitty alone with their thoughts for a while, and decided to take a stroll along the beach.

Kitty remained in her room. She didn't seem to hear when her grandparents had left the house for their walk. Grandma, true to form, offered Evans a hug before leaving. Then they were thumping down the deck stairs and off on the walk.

Another copule of minutes passed, several thoughts running through Evans' mind one minute, complete silent contemplation the next, just listening to the waves. Finally, he decided, that things just weren't looking up, and he might as well just do something. He got up with a heavy sigh, and walked to the door that Kitty disappeared through. When he arrived, he paused, sighed, and knocked. "Kitty? May I come in?"

Evans opened the door, and carefully looked inside. "You alright?" he asked rethorically. He knew as well as anyone, that she must have been feeling just as dreadful as he did...

Kitty was curled up on the colorful quilt she used as a bedspread on her neatly made bed, cuddling a stuffed tiger. Her eyes shifted up as he looked inside, and she sat up, pulling her legs to her chest. "Hi. Uh, you can come in." Her eyes were a little reddened, but she looked more ok than when she'd left the table.

Evans walked over to the bed, and went to sit behind her. He rubbed her back with his hand. He tried to come up with something to say, but couldn't come up with anything useful.

Kitty leaned on his shoulder, closing her eyes as he rubbed her back, and slowly relaxed. Her legs shifted down as she uncurled a little, the tiger drooping a little from her hand. After a moment she just said "mmm" quietly. Apparently he'd found a 'good spot'.

"Well, that didn't work out exactly as we planned, did it?..." Evans finally said, continuing to rub her back. "Looks like we still have some things to work out, don't we?"

"Yeah..." Kitty said softly. "I'm sorry, hon. I didn't mean to cast such a shadow on our breakfast."

"Well, I think you weren't the only one... The moment the conversation turned to the L..." But Evans bit back what he wanted to say.

"The Lantree," Kitty responded. "If I never let myself say it, it'll just get stuck in my head forever. It's ok, Ronald. You didn't mean to upset anyone."

Ronald sighed, moved his arms around Kitty, and gave her a stern hug. "Mmmm... I'm sorry I let it slip. It ruined the whole morning..."

"No it didn't..." Kitty said softly, closing her eyes, snuggling close. "It only ruins as much of our day as we let it."

"Mfh... You're feeling better, all of a sudden..." Evans tried to joke. "I guess you're right, though..." he added, as he tightened his hug a bit more.

Kitty smiled. "Oof! That's a bit tight... well... Yeah, I talked to Hannah a little on the comm while I was in here sulking. She's having a really good time. I'm glad. Oh! And the captain called here early this morning." At that, Kitty suddenly remembered that she had to destroy that memory chip and became quite quiet again.

Evans did nt notice the moodswing immediately. "The captain called, and?... What did he say?... Kitty?..."

Kitty blinked and shook her head slightly, then smiled. "It's good news," she said. "He's trying to keep the crew together. He had a place for me. I accepted it."

"Oh, that's good to hear.." Evans said. "But keep them together as what? Last time I checked, the Pegasus was on the list for being scrapped..."

Kitty grinned, taking a moment to savor being the one to break the news to Evans. "We've got the starbase," she said, then shifted to look at his face.

Evans' expression was one of complete and utter disbelief... "We've *what*?! Even after wrecking a starship?!" He couldn't help but add "Two even..." softly...

"I guess they think since starbases stay put, we can't take it anywhere dangerous?" Kitty was chuckling at his expression. "I bet you'll get a call pretty soon asking you to be Chief Ops there."

"I hope so... There's a plethora of things to do on a star base as ops officer... I'd really like that..." Evans let out. "I think there'll be enough trouble, though... I heard that SB47 was in Romulan teritory half of the time..."

"A third," Kitty said, her eyes lighting up in enthusiasm now. "And the planet is, like, half and half, twin cities. I might get the chance to work on some Romulan engines." She grinned. "I know HOW to work on Romulan engines," she confided.

"Perhaps we could find out some secrets about their cloaking devices... I always wanted to get my hands on one of those babies..." Evans mused. "Or maybe even outsmart the Tal Shiar..." he snickered.

Kitty suddenly became very quiet at that, glancing down, frowning slightly, tensing a little.

This time, Evans did notice... "What's wrong?..."

"Oh, uh.. nothing.. I just.. uh..." Kitty was in sudden confusion now. She was pretty sure she shouldn't tell anyone about those records now, but she hated keeping things from him. "I mean, well........ yeah, nothing." She shuddered a little, remembering her captain's instructions.. Destroy the copy. Tell where the others are. She was right to tell him... wasn't she?

"Come on, out with it..." Evans said, on a way, that sugested that Kitty still had a choice. If there was something she had difficulties saying yet, he would be the last to force her... He would tell her someday, he figured...

Evans looked oddly at her... "Information?... Hot?... How? Don't tell me Letek is a spy... He couldn't even find his way around a Centaur class... Literally..."

"Letek?" Kitty's troubled gaze met Evans' odd look and suddenly she was laughing so hard she was doubled over. "Oh gosh, Letek, I nearly forgot he even existed, poor guy! No, no, I bet you've got nothing, nothing at all to worry about HIM!"

"Oh, ok..." Evans said in reaction. Kitty's laughter worked like a contageous disease, and it was soon, that Evans was snickering too. "Yeah, imagine that, Letek being a James Bond, Shaken, not stirred..." And not long after that, he joined Kitty in laughter.

"Oh dear.." That set her off again, worse this time, until she was finally wiping away tears. "Oh that felt good. But yeah..." She reached down the front of her t-shirt without warning and withdrew the slightly warmed memory chip. "I've got to find a good way to destroy this today."

"...Eh..." was Evans reaction, as Kitty grabbed something from her bosom in front of him. When he saw that it was an isolinear chip, his curiosity was piqued. "...What's on it?..." he asked. "Oh, wait, that's the stuff you rather not tell me..." he added with a thoughtful expression on his face.

"I'd rather tell you," Kitty said, looking at the chip. "But I have the feeling I'm probably not supposed to." From the way she was holding it, it's information had obviously had an impact on her, as had the order to destroy it.

Kitty looked up at him at that, her face gone white. And perhaps that's all he needed to see, to begin wondering about what he'd just said.

The light in the room might have hidden Kitty's whiteness, but it didn't hide her expression... One that even Evans could decipher. "...Oh, you have got to be kidding me..."

"I, uh..." Kitty glanced away, trying to regain her composure. "I wish I was, Ronald."

Evans was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable now... "Where did you get it?... What's on it, that's so dangerous? I mean... How? How on earth did YOU get it?..."

"Uh..." Kitty wouldn't have broken under torture, but somehow she just couldn't lie to Evans. She'd come to trust him deeply and entirely. "With Sulan's stuff," she told him quietly. "She'd asked me to store her things for her when she was put in the brig. So I-I did. And... And I found it. This." She looked at the chip again, and spoke as if she had something catching in her throat. "It's the original."

"I shouldn't have told you, now you could get in trouble or something," Kitty said miserably. "Of course when I checked it, I made copies and sent one to the Captain, to let him know she's been telling the truth this entire time. And he called back this morning to ask where the copies were. So I told him. And he told me to destroy the one I have and forget about it." Her eyes were troubled. "I feel bad.. since it's the original, I feel as if it's hers. And she had this kept for a reason. Who was I to go giving that information out? I've tried my hardest to do the right thing, and now I don't know if I did."

"Well, at least you tried..." Evans mused, in thought. "I think you shouldn't destroy the chip, but say you did... But don't keep the original chip, but a copy... You don't know if the original is bugged... Destroy it, and loose the remains, but keep a copy somewhere..." he said softly, as if he were afraid, someone might be listening in.

"The original belongs to Sulan," Kitty said, matching his quiet tone. "I guess... I guess I assumed that Captain LaBrie was going to.. well.. Do something with it. Is it.. really my place.. to question his decision?" She was studying the chip while she spoke.

"I don't know..." Evans said. "But he *is* in the chain of command... I wouldn't be surprised , if he were ordered to tell you to destroy the chip... Oh darn..."

Kitty looked back at Evans, then smiled. "I shouldn't have told you, I'm pretty sure. But I guess I'm subversive, because I'm glad I did. It's just... a lot to carry on my own. And somehow the old 'chain of command, so don't think' instruction doesn't... feel good at all."

"But..." Evans said, "wether we like it or not, we *are* part of that chain... We could get into a world of trouble, if we don't obey, and it comes out..." He shifted a bit on the bed, to take another peek at the chip. "It sure looks ordinary enough..."

"It's a standard memory chip, Ronald," Kitty said in amusement, and then she gently handed it over to him. "Yeah.. it would take something pretty serious, wouldn't it? For me of all people to even consider breaking that chain?"

Kitty nodded. She took the chip back and tucked it back somewhere inside her shirt. "You know what, let's forget about all this for the day and go out on the town. I know a bunch of fun places to visit." She brightened.

Evans smiled back at her... "Maybe, we could warm up the waffles, and take them with us... To go... No matter what, they DO taste delicious..."

Kitty smiled warmly at him, uncurling. "Excellent idea. Let's go and do."

"Just one more hug..." Evans said, as he added the action to his words.


Figuring out what to do with that chip later:

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin

Lt. Jg. Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer Starbase Ronin