Voyager Vignettes II

Darrel W. Beach

June, 1996
Revised and HTMLized June, 1999

The following presentation is rated PG-13 for scenes with mature content which may be unsuitable for younger viewers. Parental guidance is suggested.

Mind Games

     "Open yourself to the impressions around you...the thoughts, the minds, that are on this ship. Try to focus on just one voice."
     Kes relaxed her body and slowly let her mind reach out through the ship. In the few months since Tuvok began schooling her in using her mental abilities, she found it easier to focus on reading people's minds, even though she rarely practised it outside of her lessons. She bounced from person to person, as if turning a radio dial, until she heard someone familiar.
     Mmmmm, oooh yeah.
     "I think I hear the captain," she said finally, her brow wrinkled in puzzlement. "I'm not totally certain; it sounds like her, but she's really not thinking about anything."
     Mmmmm, that's good.
     The stress lines vanished from the Ocampa's features. "Yes, it is; it's Captain Janeway."
     "Kes, must I remind you to stay emotionally neutral every time we perform this exercise? Please try to discipline your emotions," chided Tuvok in a level voice.
     So good.
     Kes, however, kept her attention on Janeway's thoughts, intrigued by the brief yet passionate outbursts, wondering what it was exactly that had so distracted the captain.
     Oh, you feel so good in my mouth. You taste wonderful.
     Tuvok was startled when Kes broke their contact with a sudden gasp. "Are you all right?" he enquired, noting the brilliant crimson creeping into her face.
     "I'm fine, Tuvok," she answered, a bashful smile appearing on her lips. "I think I just caught the captain in a...personal moment, that's all."

     "Have I ever told you that nothing has ever satisfied me the way you do?" Kathryn, stretched out comfortably on her sofa, asked no one in particular. She closed her eyes as she brought the spoon to her lips and savored the flavor and texture of her coffee ice cream.

Happy Birthday, Harry

     "Come on, Tom, what's this new program about?" pestered a frantically eager Ensign Kim. Tom had been dropping hints about the new holodeck program he'd created all day, but never anything informative enough to help describe it.
     "Relax, Harry, you'll find out soon enough," he replied as they walked down a corridor on Deck 6. He hadn't strung Harry along all day to give the surprise away now; he was fairly sure the guy would back out before he could get him inside the holodeck. "Ah, here we are: Holodeck Two." Immediately he began tapping instructions into the interface panel.
     "Tom, this is driving me crazy!" snapped the frustrated Kim. "Can't you tell me what it is yet?"
     "I've already told you all you need to know," the helmsman said with a grin. "It's a recreational stress release program. One that, I might add, should be quite popular on the ship, perhaps even more popular than Sandrine's."
     "Program loaded. You may enter when ready," the computer announced.
     "After you, my good man," Tom offered, pointing one arm out toward the holodeck entrance. Harry hesitated a moment, looking dubiously at his friend, but proceeded as the doors rumbled open.
     He couldn't be sure exactly what to make of it; Tom had put them in the middle of a street in what appeared to be a suburban neighborhood or small midwestern city from the latter 20th century.
     "This way, Harry," stated Paris, tapping his friend on the shoulder. With that, Harry followed Tom down the street.
     They stopped in front of a two-level flat, painted in a sterile white. The front yard was spotted with ash and poplar trees, whose leaves fluttered lazily in the soft breeze. A solid oak sign stood primly in the yard near the front porch steps, bold black letters engraved into its surface:

Therapeutic Massage

     "This was your big surprise?" wondered Harry, completely perplexed. "I don't know why it had to be such a big secret. I think this is a great idea, Tom."
     "You really think so?" Tom asked, putting great effort in keeping a straight face.
     "Sure I do. Massages are an excellent way to relieve tension and stress."
     The lieutenant smirked. "Yeah, I'd have to agree with that assessment myself," he remarked as he led the way through the front door.
     The interior was considerably darker than Harry expected a practitioner's visiting room to be. Heavy drapes covered the windows and walls, the only source of light generated by the building's own electrical lighting. The receptionists's desk was currently unmanned, but he could tell the position was held by a female: various items of cosmetics were splayed out on the desk's surface in addition to appointment books and other stationery.
     A curtain shifted; a woman appeared from a partially concealed doorway and seated herself at the desk. Harry knew something was up: she was an Deltan woman -- and a voluptuous one at that. His pulse quickened autonomically at the secretary's provocative style of dress. A sense of foreboding enveloped him.
     "Tom, what is this place?" he asked sternly.
     "Can I help you gentlemen?" enquired the receptionist. Her timbre was just as sensual as her apparel.
     "Yes, I believe so...Rena, isn't it?" Tom addressed the Deltan. "Yes, my friend Harry here would like one of your basic massage treatments." He flashed a complacent grin at the ensign, who was getting more apprehensive with each passing moment.
     "Okay. Got any preferences? Chandra, Shozal, Helene, Nika...?"
     "Nika," Tom interrupted. "Definitely Nika."
     "Tom, is this program what I think it is?" Harry's voice was interspersed with panic and ire. The question answered itself, however, when he felt someone tap on his shoulder.
     "You're Harry, right?" spoke a woman with a slight Swedish accent.
     Harry turned around. Then he looked up, the color draining from his face.
     Nika was very much of Nordic heritage: fair hair, blue-green eyes, generously proportioned, and stood 6'6" in heels. Nika also wore very little else, aside from a pure white camisole and a filmy see-through nightgown.
     Harry didn't need to see anymore to know what would happen next. "Computer: freeze program."
     Nothing happened.
     "Is this your first time, Harry?" Nika asked sweetly. Harry looked wildly at Tom.
     "Um, I forgot to mention," Tom feigned embarrassment. "This program is keyed to terminate only upon completion." He glanced at Nika, then back at Harry. "You know, I kind of programmed Nika especially for you, Harry. Just think of her as a birthday present."
     Harry's glare was pure malice. "But my birthday isn't for another seven months," he snarled through gritted teeth.
     The lieutenant finally let slip a sly grin. "Well, think of her as an early birthday present then. You'll like Swedish massage...most especially from this Swede."
     Harry suddenly felt a large hand clamp around his forearm. "Come on, Harry; Nika doesn't like to be kept waiting."

Baby Wildman

     "Please state -- Ensign Wildman, what seems to be the problem?" the Doctor shouted in alarm over the emphatic howls that greeted him upon activation.
     Samantha Wildman nodded her chin at the little noise maker cradled in her arms. "Her incisors just came out, and she's past due her feeding."
     "Well, that certainly explains her temperament," the hologram replied testily. Without hesitation he began preparing hyposprays. "I suppose I should have anticipated that they might come in early."
     Inserting the final cartridge, the Doctor returned to the mother and child and proceeded to administer the hyposprays into the screaming infant. "This is a nutritional supplement. It should suffice for now, but we'll have to arrange an alternative immediately. I'm also giving her an appetite suppressant to fool her into thinking she's been fed."
     "That's remarkable," sighed the relieved mother as the child's cries subsided. "How did you ever think to use a suppressant? You're incredible!"
     "Yes, I know," he acknowledged in a weary voice, as if he'd been told that a thousand times only a minute ago. "It's in the medical database. Situations like this have occurred before, although not frequently. Now, concerning her feeding...."
     "Doctor, before we discuss that," Wildman cut him off, "I could use a little medical attention myself." She pointed to the bloody stain on her nightshirt, positioned on her right breast.
     The Doctor was vexed. "I thought I made it clear that your skin was not tough enough to withstand her incisors when they erupted."
     The reprimand almost caught Ensign Wildman off guard. "It's not my fault! They came in during the middle of the night, and I was still half-asleep!" she snapped back. "Woke me up pretty damn quick though, I can tell you that!"
     The Doctor shook his head and went to get a dermal regenerator, while Samantha lay her baby down and pulled off her shirt.
     He ran the regenerator over the broken skin. "As I was saying before you so rudely interrupted, have you considered what kind of feeding program you wish to provide for your baby?"
     Wildman looked pensive for a moment or two. "Well, I was never really keen on the idea of using formula or anything like that."
     The Doctor switched off the regenerator and scanned the healed area with a medical tricorder. "I see. Might I assume then that you still wish to give her breast milk?"
     Wildman nodded. "Yes, I would."
     "I see no reason why you could not then. You'll have to replicate a breast pump to extract the milk and some bottles to store it in. I'll produce a synthetic nipple durable enough for her Katarian dental work. However, you should still bring her in for her next appointment: I'd like to make sure you're milk is providing her the nutrients she needs."
     "Okay, Doctor. When can I come by for the nipples?" The ensign slipped her top back on and picked the little infant, who was now sleeping.
     "I should have a supply prepared for by the start of the morning shift, Ensign. I'll have Kes deliver them to you when they're ready," he stated matter-of-factly.
     "That would be wonderful, thank you," she responded appreciatively.
     The Doctor saw the two patients out of Sickbay, then strolled into his private office and accessed the medical database.

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