Voyager Vignettes I
Darrel W. Beach
Revised and HTMLized, July 1999
The following presentation is rated G.
Weary in Body and Soul
The sigh that emanated from the doors as they closed sounded almost
as tired as he himself felt. Today's shift seemed indefinite, as
uneventful shifts are wont to be. His restless anticipation for something
-- anything -- to happen served no purpose other than to produce a few
knots of tension in his shoulders. He decided that a session of meditation
was the best available remedy.
I'd really prefer a back rub, though. And he knew who he would
most like to be the administrator. So strong, yet so gentle. How he
yearned to feel her hands plied against his body.
He sighed in disappointment. The way things stood now, his desires
had absolutely no chance of fruition. She had made it clear that her
responsibility to the ship precluded any attempt at a personal
relationship. But more than that, he knew she was still holding on to her
significant other back home. While he appreciated her motivation, he
couldn't fathom how she could keep denying the reality of her situation.
Not that he felt like they wouldn't make it back to the Alpha Quadrant, but
probably not any time soon. It would be in everyone's best interests to
assume the worst case scenario and take the necessary steps to account for
it, and she was no exception. If only she could accept that....
Now wasn't the time to get worked up over something he couldn't
control. Besides, he was trying to relax, not wind himself up like a drum
skin. He laid out his ritual objects in front of him and assumed a cross-
legged position on the floor.
"Computer, reduce lighting to fifty percent."
With the bright light subdued, he closed his eyes and took a few deep
cleansing breaths to slow down his heart rate and loosen himself up.
"Akoocheemoya, please help me achieve peace in both body and
The Greater Fool
Culluh's ill mood radiated from his body like electromagnetic waves.
It couldn't be helped: it happened every single time a discussion steered
to that accursed Federation vessel. It only served to remind him of how
many times his ambitions of power were undermined by his nemesis, Janeway.
He clenched his fists repeatedly. That's what bothered him the most:
a woman in command of a ship. Females were fragile and weak, they
shouldn't even be allowed to set foot on a warship. Those Federations were
insane to put Janeway in charge. And yet he could not assert his power
over her. This abject humiliation was the source of much humour for the
other sects, and would have been also on his own ship had he not
demonstrated the penalty for such insubordination a few times.
Now, Seska, there was a woman who knew her place! Culluh had a true
appreciation for the Cardassians, who, much like his own race, knew how to
discipline the weaker sex. From monitoring Seska's activities since her
arrival, he seemed sure of it. No doubt all Cardassian females were as
much the complacent, subservient wenches as she. If it weren't for her
usefulness as an informant of the Federations (and as a consort, though as
easily satiated as she was) he would have killed her long ago.
Well, she would exhaust her usefulness soon enough. It would be
unfortunate to dispose of such a pleasant diversion as Seska, but all
victories required some sacrifice. Besides, he was beginning to tire of
her endless cloy gratifications.
Posing in front of a full-length mirror, Seska affectionately rubbed
her swollen belly. She was rewarded with a kick from the tiny form inside
her, and she smiled. The gestation cycle was nearly complete; soon she
would be able to present Chakotay with their prodigy, her final triumph
over him. In some small measure, she would still have him, and there was
nothing Chakotay could do to take it away from her.
They were so much alike, she and Chakotay: strong, intelligent,
cunning. He was the perfect specimen from which to produce a child. Not
like that fool Culluh. He was so dense; she couldn't believe how easy it
was to manipulate him.
Imbecile, you should have listened to Chakotay. You have no idea
what you're up against, she thought as the baby kicked her once again.
Her smile harnessed a wicked tone. No, it wouldn't be long now.
A Mess in the Mess
"Mr. Vulcan! So good of you to join us this evening!" Neelix's
jubilant enthusiasm bubbled as vigorously as the contents in the pot he was
Tuvok looked at the stocky chef with disinterest as he picked up a
meal tray. "I fail to see how my presence in the mess hall at this
particular time should be of any more significance than any other instance.
If I am not mistaken, I arrive here for dinner at the same time every day."
Neelix cackled like an old man. "You and your sense of humor! You
may have duped everyone else with your 'unemotional' facade, but you don't
fool me, not for a second."
The lieutenant stifled a tired sigh. He would have pointed out that
his statement was not intended to be humorous -- and the fact that it was
illogical for Vulcans to practise humor, as it was an emotion -- but Neelix
always came back with yet another illogical rationalization to contradict
him. He contemplated whether all Talaxians were like Neelix, but decided
he did not have sufficient information to make a reliable assessment.
"Might I ask what is being served this evening?"
Neelix's eye twinkled with merriment. "You most certainly may."
Grabbing a bowl, he spooned out a portion from the bubbling pot. "This,"
he said, shoving the bowl under Tuvok's nose, "is a special recipe I picked
up during an expedition to the twin moons of Dressak Prime."
Tuvok reflexively jerked his head back to prevent being hit with the
bowl. The pungent odor of the brew assaulted his nose, compelling him to
push the bowl down onto the tray.
"It's Feldian waterfowl, boiled in a light sap extracted from Dressak
mistlerod trees. Add a few fresh veggies, and voila...you have a stew fit
for a king! Eh, of course, the original recipe is rather lifeless, so I
added in some leola root to give it a more robust personality."
Several visions flashed through the security officer's mind, all of
them very un-Vulcan. Visions such as they were not uncommon: Neelix had a
way of getting under the skin of the unflappable Vulcan. It was at times
like this when the Kolinahr was particularly valuable. Without it,
Voyager's morale officer would likely have been the victim of an
unfortunate accident within a week of first boarding the ship. With a
conscious effort, he suppressed the disagreeable thoughts, and took his
tray into a secluded corner of the mess hall. Maybe if he immersed himself
in his reading, he would banish the thought of giving Neelix a personal
demonstration of the Vulcan neck pinch.
"Mind if I sit down?" Lt. Paris didn't wait for Ensign Calloway's
permission before straddling the seat opposite her.
"By all means," she sarcastically intoned, "make yourself comfortable."
She knew why he was here: the Conn officer had been pestering her for
a date for several weeks, despite the fact she kept turning him down.
Every time she thought he'd finally given up, he'd come back as persistent
as ever. He just wouldn't take no for an answer.
"Thanks, I will." Tom could tell he was driving her nuts with his
'naive and innocent' routine. He'd make her so frustrated that she'd have
no choice but to concede to the date, just to get him to stop harping her.
Tom had set his sights on Calloway ever since the Delaneys had become
seriously involved, and he was determined to get the next top prospect
while there was still time to pick and choose.
He watched as the young security officer placed a morsel of food in
her mouth, she trying her best to ignore his piercing stare. "Hmm, dinner
looks good tonight. What is it?"
Her eyes never left her tray. "I think Neelix called it felda bird
stew. It would probably taste better without the leola root."
Tom sighed dramatically. "Ah, Neelix and his leola root! He just
has no concept for decent cuisine. Now, if you would agree to have dinner
with me tomorrow night...."
"Paris, how many times do I have to tell you: I'm not interested. I
don't like you."
He gave her a look of genuine hurt. "Now how can you say that? You
don't even know anything about me."
Calloway fixed him with a cynical 'give me a break' stare.
"Oh, come on, Leena, I'm just asking for dinner...my treat. What
have you got to lose? Here's your chance to get a really good meal at my
expense, and we can get to know each other better. You might find out I'm
not such a bad guy."
She still didn't really want to it: Paris' reputation as a
philanderer was unprecedented. Unfortunately, it was mostly hearsay to
her; she could be judging him on the basis of unreliable or biased
information. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt?
That suspension of doubt only lasted for about a second, when the
lieutenant opened his mouth.
"And, well, if the evening is still young, I'm sure we could find
other ways to become even better acquainted."
Ensign Calloway set her spoon down and sipped the water in her glass.
"Paris, cool off," she said as she hurled the contents of the glass in
Tom's face. She stood up and walked out of mess hall, while several
crewmen stared at a soaked Lt. Paris, some in surprise, others in
amusement. Lt. Tuvok kept his gaze focused on his PADD, seemingly
oblivious to everything that had just transpired.
Paris wiped off some of the moisture with his palm. I really ought
to learn to keep my big mouth shut. Silently he calculated the odds of
her ever speaking to him again. It didn't look good. If he hurried, maybe
he could control some of the damage by apologizing.
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