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Crossfire

Posted on 14 Apr 2020 @ 11:26pm by Ensign Kelly Khan & Lieutenant Commander Tivan & Staff Warrant Officer Devhanodhred ch'Thulhu

Mission: Sentience
Location: Deck 8, Recreation, Zero-G Gym
Timeline: MD 2 | 1900

"Pew-pew!" Dhred shouted in an obnoxious taunt. The Andorian vaulted off the far wall into a spin that put his feet forward as if falling downward to his target. The laser tag rifle warbled on rapid succession as he laid down automatic fire.

Kelly flipped in mid air as she heard the Andorian fighter pilot making sound effects and hoped she was a small enough target to be missed. By doing so, she hit the far wall on her right shoulder and grunted as she started to bounce off of it. She kicked back with her left leg and tried to get some traction and angled her body upwards. "Gotta do better than that!" she taunted him.

"You can't touch deez reflexes!" The Andorian came spinning down on her, his train of fire a corkscrew of laser light. His antennae oscillated to and fro across his head in the spinning vortex he'd sent himself. "Bravo Flight!"

"Watch me," she said as she pushed off the ceiling, did a mid air roll and fired several shots back his way. "Go Nova Squad!"

Dhred went spread eagle for a minute in order to fling out his inertia for an easy tumble. Then he landed against the wall, bent his knees to gather the force of impact, and then deflected back out into the open space. "I'm watching, girlie, but I ain't seein'!"

And, of course, he returned fire.

Kelly cackled and pulled the trigger as many times as she could as she spun into a cartwheel and aimed in his general direction. "That's because you're blind!"

"Flying blind?" he grunted as he landed hard and sprang back. "Sounds like some bullshit a navigator would do! Gah!" There went the hit detector on his arm. "You're mine now!"

The petite brunette bounced off another wall and fired another wild salvo. "Much like your shooting."

"You want shooting?!" Dhred shouted as he dove straight for Kelly in a kamikaze run. "I'LL SHOW YOU SHOOTING!!!" The Andorian barreled down on her with indiscriminate spraying of laser blasts in a deep-throated war cry.

Kelly flipped upside down in the air and kicked out at him with her legs while she fired. Her left leg registered a shot and her left arm, but she was committed. "That's more like sharking," she laughed.

They collided in midair, with Dhred getting a strong taste of Kelly's boot. "Blech!" He tried to rally, but by the time he oriented himself he found that he was face to muzzle with Kelly's rifle.

"Qapla'!" The petite brunette shouted as she pulled the trigger. "Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam!"

Dhred flew backward as his chestplate let off a flashing light like red alert. "I don't know what you just said, but it didn't sound very sportsmanlike." He slid out of the laser tag kit and headed for the showers. "I'll get you for that, too," he added over his shoulder. "Next time...

"You need to study Klingon," Kelly said. "That was 'today is a good day to die'. Next time, you may actually win." She grinned and waved him off.

"Still sounds like shit talk to me," Dhred grumbled.

As the bombastic Andorian left the arena, Tivan observed Kelly all the closer. She did not take pains to hide her observation, but neither did she make herself known. This one surely had, as one of her instructors once so colloquially phrased it, "broken the mold." Perhaps...

Tivan kept her mind from wandering. Postulation could wait till later. Now was observation time. How would Kelly celebrate her victory?

Kelly secured herself and turned off the gravity after lowering herself to the floor, then stretched before looking around. When she saw Tivan, she scowled, then smiled. "Hello," she said.

Well, there seemed no point in running or hiding. Tivan stepped out of the observation area and into plain view, though still a fair distance from Kelly.

"Greetings," she said. "And, might I add, congratulations." Her eyes were like raptors, canny and searching for anything Kelly would give away.

"Thanks!"the young human woman said with a bright smile. She had the flush of the game, excitement and victory in her eyes as she walked to grab a towel from a bench and began wiping down her neck and arms. She didn't know what the Romulan wanted, but she wasn't going to give it to her. Especially after learning the badly disguised spy was a Counselor of some sort and that her background required a lot of high clearance to even see.

Tivan smiled at Kelly's mixed signals. No doubt their last encounter at karaoke night was well-remembered. "It would appear your athleticism matches your singing ability. Do you feel that either you or the Andorian held back at all?"

"Why would we?" Kelly asked as she put her towel down and picked up a water bottle for a big drink before pouring most of it on her head.

An innocent shrug. "So you feel you both put forward your best. Indeed, why would you not?" The rhetorical question kicked off an internal monologue inside Tivan's mind, perhaps even a checklist of sorts which indicated the sort of person she was conversing with. As Kelly poured her water over her head, Tivan's mind briefly went back to her first day on board the ship and how her introduction to the captain was in the nude. A deliciously improper introduction it was.
"I wish to study you," Tivan said, abruptly interrupting her own thoughts. "Given your seemingly high intrinsic level of confidence and predilection for public performance, I am willing to wager that you may not object immediately out of hand." She paused to study Kelly's nonverbal cues. "Interested?"

"Why would you want to study me?" The brunette human asked as she towelled off again. "I'm just me. What you see is what you get." Romulan scum, she mentally added. "Everything else is in my service record."

Tivan grinned at the question. "Because there is more to a person than who they are and where they've been. My primary interest is seeing who you will become and where that person will go." She dropped her voice to a dusky timbre just above a whisper. "I suspect there are few thresholds to which you would not go."

And then she turned to leave. "If I'm wrong, then I will study another, I will only track you from afar, and you'll never see me outside of wellness evaluations and the like. Otherwise..." She stopped to grin at Kelly over her shoulder. "I will expect to hear from you soon. Farewell..."

"I didn't give you permission," Kelly pointed out.

Tivan paused and waited before turning back around. "That, my dear, is a choice I leave with you." She gave Kelly a wink.

"And a choice that I made," the petite pilot pointed out. "Which means since you asked, you have to respect it. Permission is not given."

"Oh, I shall do as I please and as I am ordered," Tivan countered as she continued her exit. "We will not speak again until you wish it." This time she did not bid farewell. Was there truly any such thing as goodbye anyway? Her confident swagger suggested not.

"Then why ask?" Kelly wondered and sounded genuinely confused. Most senior officers didn't even bother to let junior officers know what was going on, let alone ask their permission for something. The Romulan, however, seemed at odds with herself, what she said, what she did, and even how she walked. Maybe the poor thing got hit in the head one too many times, she mused.

Tivan let out a chuckle as the doors automatically opened for her. "Why indeed?" Her tone lilted almost invitingly.

The other woman shrugged and didn't pretend to understand. One day, she'd be a senior officer and when they day came, she vowed not to be like the Romulan woman that didn't seem to know what she meant. Her tone also indicated that she was either a lesbian or bisexual, and it was no secret that anyone with access to her file knew Kelly was bisexual, but she was also in a committed relationship with her boyfriend.

Tivan walked through the doors and let them close behind her without another word.

"Who the hell was that?" Dhred asked with his gym bag slung over one shoulder.

"No idea, she never introduced herself," Kelly said as she got her gear and equipment ready to take back to the recreation center. "And she seems to be off her nut and wants to observe me."

Dhred blinked at that answer. "What, you mean she wasn't even here to play?" He gave a loud snort. "Nutter."

"You got that right," Kelly said. "C'mon. The lounge has a new thing called a cake shake I want to try." With that, the young woman headed out.

 

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