River of Forgetfulness # 50 - 51 - Lost, In Search of Information


[Starbase 47 - Engineering Deck - 1455 hrs]

The steady pace of the red alert had personnel moving in every direction. Zorach found himself on the Engineering Deck, so he thought to check with the Chief Engineer. After two attempts to inquire with passing officers, he spotted her near a main engineering panel. Zorach walked over. "Uh, good afternoon, Lieutenant Black," he said.

"Hello?" Kitty looked up from a series of complex equations and spent a moment trying to place this face. "Oh! I remember you from the party. Mr. Conehead, right?" She smiled brightly, though she looked a little tired. "How are you?"

Zorach laughed briefly. "Yes. I've retired that costume. I'm fine, missed an exit several decks above. How are you?"

"I kept my costume," Kitty admitted with a wry smile. "I am alright for a Chief Engineer in the midst of a station on alert. Things are going smoothly so far. Nobody has started firing at my people... yet."

"Have you seen Sock and Bokma before?" In fact, Zorach was slowing making his way to locate them, via a scenic route.

"Oh no," Kitty groaned. "Those two? Yeah. Yeah, I've seen them before. ...why?"

"I've never met them. It's always a good idea to know as much as you can before a meeting. Can you tell me your impressions of them?" Zorach asked. This was the way of most intelligence gathering, asking questions.

"Well," Kitty said wryly, "Bokma was very disappointed when he wasn't allowed to kill me. I remember that pretty clearly, mostly around three in the morning. Looking down the barrel of a disruptor rifle at point-blank range will do that to you."

"Why did he want to kill you? Did Sock approve of his actions?"

"They took over the ship!" Kitty said indignantly. "They fought their way to Engineering. I guess something stopped them, though, because they surrendered and left peacefully. But first they injured our XO and killed one of my engineers." She sighed. "It was the first time I'd actually seen combat, real combat. Wish it'd been the last. I guess he wanted to kill me in the first place because when they'd broken through our last defenses, I put myself in front of the engines. I still don't know why I did that."

"Very admirable. That was the USS Pegasus? I'll look into the records. I do wonder why they pulled out. A Federation starship would be a nice prize for the Tal Shiar. So, you never had a chance to talk with Sock?"

"Talk with? Nope," Kitty admitted. "I just heard his voice once on the intercom ordering Bokma to stand down. I didn't really talk to either of them. Just shouting."

"It does help you know. It suggests that Sock is the control when they are together. Did Bokma say anything out of the ordinary shouting? I mean was he emotionally in control?"

"He was furious when he was told to stand down," Kitty said, thinking back on it, "but he obeyed after asking confirmation of the order."

Zorach grinned. "Yes, that is interesting. Anger and frustration is a powerful motivating emotion. I happen to know what can get him angry. And Sock can disarm him. Bokma seems like a person with a lot of suppressed frustration. You said, he killed an engineer. How?"

"I don't know if he did it personally," Kitty said, frowning. "It was a firefight. Him and several other Romulans against us. Petrova was up with some security personnel and the braver engineers. I can't aim and duck at the same time."

"Firefights can be very stressful. One that you can walk away from is always a good one. Thanks for sharing what you remember."

"It's no problem," Kitty said. "And thanks for the reassurance. I don't intend on getting caught like that again." She smiled. "You're pretty new, aren't you? How are you liking the place?"

"It's a big base. I've got lost more times than I care to admit. I know how to reach the launch bays and shuttle bays. And I can find my office and quarters. I haven't been shopping yet, so the Promenade is a maze to explore. Maybe when we go back to normal operations, you could show me around?"

"I'm the wrong person to ask," Kitty chuckled. "I get lost all the time! I can't even get from Main Engineering to my quarters without help yet."

"Exploration is often the best enjoyed with a friend amidst the dangers and excitement of discovery. It would be mutually beneficial to travel in pairs when exploring. Don't you wonder what might be on those decks, dress shops, shoes, amazing things to eat and drink, and the interesting people to observe?"

"Well..." Kitty admitted, "I'm not a great fan of shopping. I like exploring, and I like finding new things to eat and drink. But I'm not fond of crowds or shoes." She smiled. "If I could get away with it, I'd walk around barefoot."

"You can get away with it. There must be a time when the crowds are thin, maybe at three in the morning. I heard the holodecks are fun, too. So, how's that mechanic with you at the party?"

"He's doing alright," Kitty said in sudden amusement. "We're probably going to go on a date later on. Yeah, holodecks are fun; I have a few favorite programs. Most of them involve sailing."

Zorach noticed the chronometer on the wall panel. He smiled. "Well, I'm going to try to find those Romulans again. Have a good afternoon, Lieutenant."

"You too," Kitty said, now very amused, and she couldn't help but chuckle softly before turning back to her work.


Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer Starbase 47 'Ronin'

Lt Charles Zorach Chief Intelligence Officer Starbase Ronin (SB 47)