Subject: FRONTIER: Back To 2-Backward
Caroline spotted the counselor sitting with several other women at a
table where Patrick Simony seemed to be the centre of attention.
She nervously approached the table and asked, "Counselor, may I speak
with you?" After a few seconds she emphatically added, "*Privately*"
"Of course," replied K'Ich Pa, excusing herself from the table. As she
stood, Caroline noticed she was just taller than Simony... but then he
was still sitting down.
They reached the relative privacy of the corridor, heading toward
K'Ich Pa's quarters she presumed. Caroline began, "You remember Ruth?
The girl who left the bar tonight in a hurry?"
"Ah yes," replied K'Ich Pa. Almost fondly, she added, "That was a
display truly fitting of a warrior."
Caroline instantly noticed the difference upon entering the
counselor's quarters. The air was somehow thicker, warmer - not
unlike the Klingon homeworld. An odor of food hung in the air. It was
a pleasant smell, it reminded Caroline of... yes, a steaming bowl of
live gagh. Right now she could murder a bite of real food, but there
were more pressing matters at hand.
"I'll cut straight to the point. She got the impression from Neil that
he'd been sleeping with someone on this ship, but I'd guess her
memory's blotted out some of the details. Just as well really."
Caroline sighed and wished she could feed that craving for Klingon
food soon. "But some of the things she said really set me on edge.
She actually suggested that my husband might not have been faithful!
And that men aren't to be trusted! What kind of a philosophy is
K'Ich Pa let the information sink in for a few seconds. Then, "It's
not one of the best ones, but it's been good a couple of times." She
looked wistful, as though recalling previous broken hearts. Another
moment's thought. "Caroline, have you ever been cheated on? Do you
remember what it's like?"
The counselor had struck a home run there. "Nope. I can't imagine
why, but Will is the only man I've ever loved. I see what you mean. I
shouldn't have been giving advice when I didn't have the experience.
A dumb mistake. But she's my friend-"
"And she'll regret what she said to you. It's common for most victims
of infidelity to feel aggrieved and retaliatory against the opposite
sex. It doesn't last though - she'll be back in the love game within a
"It was pretty hard for her; I mean, learning about it the way she
did. I'm just glad I can't read Will's mind." Caroline faltered over
that last remark, trying to decide if she really believed it.
K'Ich Pa noticed her internal struggle and added, "Look, I'm sure
he's been perfectly faithful. If you're really that concerned, he
shouldn't find talking about it a problem."
No matter how hard she tried, Caroline couldn't forget Ruth's words.
Couldn't forget her doubts about her husband.
Couldn't forget her own self-doubt.
Outside Holodeck 1
Houston's fingers played over the program selector panel, searching
and narrowing her choice. She isolated the correct simulation and
entered first through the main door, then through the inner
(holographic) door. Festore followed her in, admiring the detail that
had been painstakingly added to the program.
Joanna sat down in the chair and asked the holographic hairdresser,
"Could you recommend a style for me? This is my first time."
The man that had attended to the chair immediately frowned slightly.
"My, you're leaving it a trifle late aren't you? Welll... let's see
what we *could* do." He leaned over to a projector and flicked it on.
After a few seconds a perfect image of Joanna appeared, complementing
her every aspect. A few more keypresses and the real magic began.
Before their eyes, the style on the image cycled through numerous
Joanna turned to Neil and asked, "Would you have any particular
"Ah... well I'm not about to tell you how to style your hair, but that
one looks kinda nice." He gestured toward the current image.
Joanna addressed the computer, "Freeze current image." She considered
the style carefully, judging its practicality and finesse
simultaneously. "This will be fine," she told the hairdresser.
"Quite a fine selection. Right, let's get started, shall we?" The man
cracked his knuckles and picked up his scissors.
McVyker watched Houston and Festore leave the lounge. She sighed and
lounged back in her seat. She had been planning to have a chat with
them, but after seeing the look that crossed between their eyes, she
decided it might be not be a bright idea.
She'd never had a large social circle, but when they were working in a
team, she'd finally felt a sense of belonging. But after the move from
the Krakatoa, with Joanna moving to Ops, it wasn't quite the same.
And that explained why right now she was seated at Patrick Simony's
table, trying to fit in. Not that there was a lot of space, what with
the *number* of women seated at the same table...
She watched as Neil Sykes finished his drink and left, his expression
unreadable. There was something about him, she thought, that just
didn't seem agreeable. Perhaps it was just her overactive imagination,
but there had to be a reason for him to have a swollen red handprint
on his cheek.
Outside An Unspecified Female Crewperson's Quarters
Neil Sykes pressed the door chime and waited.
The doors slid open. "I heard there was some trouble at the bar. What
"Oh, nothing much." He leaned forward and kissed her lightly on the
lips. She pulled him gently into the room and the door closed.
Caroline flopped onto the bed, tired and still full of anxiety.
"Computer, locate Captain William Ramsay."
[Captain William Ramsay is in Main Engineering] reported the computer.
Still hard at work, she guessed. For once, she wished he would finish
up what he was doing and get back here to be with her. It was another
symptom of those doubts. She decided to get in touch with him,
reassure herself, as well as tell him about a possible problem with
two of their crew members. One thing was for sure, it would *not* be a
good idea to have patients tended to by two doctors who were hostile
to one another.
"Engineering," she said, tapping her wristcom.
After a few seconds, [Ramsay here. What can I do for you Caroline?]
"I think we have a problem with sickbay."
[What kind of a problem?]
"Well, I'm afraid our two doctors just had a bit of a lover's tiff. I
was wondering if we really ought to keep them together in there."
[Hmmm,] mused Will. [Hold on, I'll be up in a moment - discuss this in
She painfully waited out the few minutes it took for him to walk
through the door. "Hello," he said breezily as the doors parted.
"Right, give me your opinion of what we should do."
"Uh, well..." Caroline hesitated. "I haven't really thought about it
He seemed a little annoyed. After a few moments thought he said, "I
suggest we split them up, give them a chance to think it over. You
have any recommendations for a replacement?" When nothing was
forthcoming, he spoke to the air. "Computer, qualification assessment.
After Drs Neil Sykes and Ruth Sampter, who is most qualified in
[Working,] said the computer momentarily. After a few seconds pause,
[Assessment complete. Most qualified crewperson is Lt.Cmdr Joanna
"Computer, find a suitably-qualified replacement for Ops Manager."
[Captain William Ramsay,] was the first reply.
"Skip that," he requested.
[Ensign Teri Blake.]
"Right. We'll transfer Dr. Sykes to Science for the time being, I
think." He tapped his wristcom and said, "Dr. Sykes, Lt.Cmdr Houston,
Ensign Blake, report to my ready room immediately."
He stood and said to Caroline, "I'll see you when I'm done with these
three. I'm rather looking forward to spending a night with you."
As he walked through the doors again, Caroline smiled. Her wish had
been granted even though she hadn't voiced it.
"Enter," said Ramsay. He'd got here just a few minutes before and was
drinking a freshly-replicated hot coffee, pretending to look at their
bios at the same time.
Houston and Sykes entered, both looking as if Ramsay had interrupted
them in the middle of something. Joanna had obviously had a recent
change of hairstyle - her copper-red hair was shorter and swept neatly
to one side, slightly back.
Sykes looked as if he'd been in the middle of a peaceful slumber. The
doors closed after an interminable pause.
His patience lasted about a minute. "Computer, locate Ensign Teri
[Ensign Teri Blake is not aboard the Frontier,] replied the computer.
"What the-" His words were cut off as he watched a young woman decloak
in front of him. "Ah. You're working with Lt. Maren on the personal
"I was. As you can see, it's almost finished now."
"Right. I'll get straight to the point. You, Dr. Sykes, are being
transferred to the Science department. Lt.Cmdr Houston, you'll be
taking his place in Sickbay. Ensign Blake, you have Ops. Any
There was no response. Ramsay continued, "I assume you know why this
had to happen. If you don't, you're sure to hear about it sooner or
The trio turned and filed out of the ready room.
Ramsay finished his coffee, tidied up a few things on his console, and
left a few minutes later.
Sam M. Edwards
[Captain] Will Ramsay, CO FRONTIER
[Cmdr] Caroline Ramsay, XO FRONTIER
[LtCmdr] Joanna Houston, 2O/OPS FRONTIER
"Eat any good books lately?"