That's my Q # 22 - 23 - "Beldar meets Earhart"


[Starbase Ronin - Recreation Deck - Costume Party]

Zorach was on his fifth drink and wasn't feeling bad at all. In his pilot days, he would have stopped at this point, but he didn't need to worry about that anymore. The damage to his head had grounded him for life. He sighed. Thinking of pilots, he noticed Amelia Earhart and slowly made his way to her side. "Amelia, is this where you disappeared to?" Zorach asked.

Kitty blinked and looked up from her juice, then chuckled. "Anyone who's known me for long would notice the amusing thing about me dressing as someone who got lost trying to cross the world." She smiled. "I don't recognize you, are you new to the Starbase?"

"For about two months. I must have missed you at the staff meetings." He pointed to the nametag, Beldar of Remulak. "You like pilots, do you?"

Kitty saw the nametag and started laughing so hard she nearly choked on her juice. "I know who that is! I loved that movie!" Calming down a bit, she nodded. "My mother's an ace fighter pilot. I'm just an engineer. Oh, well, if you're been here the whole time, it's me who's new."

Zorach smiled. "Then you know what these sensor rings do. We all need engineers. So, your mom, what's her call sign?"

"Her name..." Kitty paused for a moment, then frowned, puzzled. "I don't know her call sign, she never told me." She smiled wryly. "That figures."

"That's okay. I didn't mean to put you on the spot. I used to fly fighters. But I never met her. She's still with us, isn't she?" Zorach asked.

"I.. uh.. think so," Kitty said in mild embarrassment. "Last I knew. She set out to be the best ace ever, and I think she's either achieved it, or pretty nearly."

"Well, best of luck to her. I play in different circles now. What do you like the most about engineering?"

"Jury-rigging things at the last minute and having it actually work," Kitty said casually. "And working on ships that I've never seen before. I'm off the Pegasus, I'm being stationed here."

"Wonderful. So, do you have a family or kids on the Starbase?" <It's an innocent question just to gather knowledge.> Zorach reminded himself.

Kitty shook her head, chuckling. "No, my grandparents are happy enough just where they are. Do you?"

"Nope. Pilot's lives are the most fleeing of all, plus Starfleet moved me around too much to settle down. At least that's what I tell myself. I work intelligence now."

"Oh, so you're not a pilot anymore." Kitty was still trying to keep up. "Well, then, you can settle down someday, right?"

Zorach genuinely smiled. "Settling down? Life is much too much fun to settle down. Maybe when I reach 50. I know better than ask how old you are, let me guess you're over 18 but under 28 years old. Am I close?"

"Close," Kitty said, eyes glinting with mischief, not giving him any leads.

"You probably break hearts as a hobby. I would not presume to interfere if you have current relationship. Are you seeing anyone?"

"My boyfriend is that mechanic over there," Kitty said brightly, pointing out the oft-times clumsy guy across the room with the mouth- turned-down smile. "And as far as I know I've never broken one."

"It is always someone. Lucky fellow. To change the subject fairly, does the Starbase have a cloaking device?"

"Not that I know of," Kitty said, tilting her head to the side. "Why would we need one? How do you hide a Starbase?"

"You're right. There are always rumors that Romulans hide bases but I would imagine it would take a great deal of power. I'm Charles Zorach by the way."

"Kathleen Black." She offered a leather-gloved hand in greeting. "Chief Engineer."

"It's nice to meet you. I think the party is going fairly well. What do you think?" Zorach shook her hand quickly.

"I think people are going to get really silly before the night is over," Kitty said sagely, looking out among the group. She barely smothered a chuckle at the XO's costume. "Boy, am I glad to see her back," she said softly.

"So far, which custom is your favorite?"

"Custom?" Kitty looked back at Zorach, sipping her juice. "Custom what?" Her mind had wandered slightly.

Zorach laughed. "Costume. Merely a slip of the tongue."

Kitty chuckled. "Can I pick mine, and not be considered prideful?" She took a moment to consider all the various costumes. "That one. I like Hannah's Juliet costume. It's so pretty."

"Yes. And she is," Zorach said softly.

Kitty looked at Zorach and then back at Hannah, and she smiled... mischievously. "She likes chocolate ice cream," she offered, amused.


Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer SB47 Ronin

Lieutenant Charles Zorach Chief Intelligence Officer Starbase Ronin (SB 47) "Beldar of Remulak"