Subject: FRONTIER: More on the hair debate
Caroline sighed and discreetly looked at the time, which was late and
getting later still. She couldn't imagine quite what people found so
interesting about hair all of a sudden. Nethertheless, it was proving
to be quite a fruitful discussion.
She looked around, saw Houston and Festore holding hands across a
table. It was a constant reminder that the android was capable of
things without being aware of it. Eerily, it was reminiscent of the
first few moments she and Will had spent together, several years ago.
As she looked on, Joanna's eyes swept the lounge, eventually coming to
rest momentarily on Leana's rich dark hair. After a second she turned
back to Neil. Caroline guessed that the hair debate had just attracted
another crew member.
After just a few minutes, Joanna was walking over to their table.
Leana turned as Houston asked, "I was wondering, Lieutenant... could
you tell me how to improve my hairstyle?" It would have been a
considerably naive question from a human. Joanna, however, was
definitely not human even if she looked very much like it.
It was difficult to explain something which seemed to come so
naturally to most humanoids, but she tried anyway, "Well, the first
thing I would recommend is a ponytail. It's far more practical than
letting it hang freely, and it doesn't get in the way as much. If
you're really looking for a neat style though, the short ones are
usually the best. If you're looking for a hairdresser, why not try the
holodeck? That's where I got this style, and it seems to be working
"I would be inclined to agree with you in that respect," Joanna said,
regarding the flocks of people seated round the table. "Thank you for
"Don't mention it," replied Leana as she watched Houston return to her
table. Then in a hushed voice she said to Caroline, "What kind of
style do you think she'll have by the time she reports for her next
"I dread to think," replied Caroline through a sweet I-didn't-say-that
smile. "Let's make a deal... I won't laugh if you don't."
They returned to their discussions, only to be interrupted moments
later by a raised voice coming from the general direction of the bar.
The entire complement of the lounge turned round in time to see a very
angry-looking Ruth Sampter storm out of the establishment, leaving in
her wake a very bewildered-looking Neil Sykes, complete with
hand-sized scarlet slap mark on one cheek.
Caroline was quick to act, firstly questioning Neil briefly about what
the hell had just happened. After a few non-commital answers, she left
him and set off to find her friend.
Outside Ruth Sampter's quarters
Caroline pushed the door chime once. "Ruth, it's Caroline, can I come
After what seemed like an eternity, the doors opened to reveal a
tearful Ruth. She made no comment, but motioned Caroline inside with
one free hand. The other was busy cradling her head.
She sat on the edge of the sofa, uncommunicative, her expression
distraught. This was going to be really tough, Caroline mused as she
sat beside her friend.
The first thing to do was to get some sort of idea of what was going
on. That was easier said than done, but Caroline had an intuitive grip
of the situation. "What's wrong?" she asked, placing a reassuring hand
on Ruth's shoulder. "Come on, you can tell me."
This part was difficult to write without cracking up for some odd
Through sobs, Ruth managed to stammer, "H-he was *sob* thinking about
another woman *sob* How c-could he? *sob*"
This indeed was going to be difficult. Caroline tried to reassure the
sobbing wreck, "Come on now, was it maybe just a passing fantasy that
he never acted out?"
Ruth looked at her with what seemed like scorn. The gaze made Caroline
uneasy, but she looked back with understanding. "I'm sure! He was with
somebody on this ship! He was looking back on it and feeling...
pleasure." Anger crept into her voice. This was the side of Ruth that
Caroline had hardly seen. "I trusted him! And he *betrayed* me for...
for..." Her expression was simultaneously one of puzzlement and
anguish as she struggled to remember the face from Neil's flashback.
She relapsed into sobbing again.
Caroline could guess that between the shock of finding out, and the
emotional turmoil afterward, Ruth had blotted out some of what she had
sensed, and now couldn't recall some of the *ahem* finer details.
"Perhaps you don't want to know who he was with. Maybe it'll only make
Her face was full of cold fury now as she said, "I *want* to know!
I'll tear apart his mind to find out!"
Caroline had to take a slightly firmer stance now. "I hope it doesn't
come to that, Ruth. You can't just invade someone's privacy like that.
Did you consider asking him? You don't even have to do it
face-to-face, though I think that would help. And I don't think the
captain will be too pleased if a psychiatrist reports that his chief
medical officer had his brain wiped by a Betazoid on a mission."
It sobered her a little. "Well, it's not like he'll just tell me
straight out. Men are always like that, keeping things to themselves."
"You're wrong. Take Will for example. He's pretty open with me, we
don't keep much from each other. How do you think we've managed to
stay together so long?"
"How do you know? You were separated long enough, anything could have
happened. You can't trust them at all."
"You're wrong," repeated Caroline, but the doubt showed in her voice.
It wasn't exactly like her husband had swept her off her feet
recently. But there hadn't been much opportunity, had there?
*Other people seem to have had plenty time* said an inner voice
Who could blame him for not wanting to sleep with her? Having a figure
like a beached whale didn't exactly make for much romantically.
Caroline tried to push these thoughts to one side, and concentrated
instead on telling Ruth that she was leaving.
"I'll come back when you're feeling better," she murmered, making for
the door as quickly as she possibly could without looking alarmed.
The first thing she did after leaving Ruth's quarters was ask the
computer to locate the counselor.
[Counselor K'Ich Pa is in 2-Backward,] reported the computer dutifully.
Sam M. Edwards
[Captain] Will Ramsay, CO FRONTIER
[Cmdr] Caroline Ramsay, XO FRONTIER
[LtCmdr] Joanna Houston, 2O/OPS FRONTIER
"Time is the fire in which we burn"
Dr. Tolian Soren