Subject: FRONTIER: In 2-Backward after the battle

SD 80411

>Joanna reported, "They downloaded a complete list of Federation ships 
>captured in Kzinti space, with the location of the ship and the crew.  
>Suggest we relay the information to Starfleet Command, Captain?"

>"As securely as you can make it."  He got up and added, "Now, I think I'd 
>better welcome our visitor on board."

As the turbolift doors closed Angus took a deep breath and looked at his 
chronometer, it was nearly the end of his shift so he decided to knock off 
a few minutes early.

He informed Houston that he was leaving the bridge and stepped into the 
turbolift.  He came out on deck two and headed for his quarters.

No sooner had he crashed out on the mattress than there was a bleep at the 

"Come in."

The door staggered open and Patrick stooped under the doorpost and sat down
on the setee.

"You've got a whole hour to get ready." he said.

Angus looked puzzled, "For what?"

"McVyker and I have a date in 2-Backward this evening and you and Leana are
coming with us.  I was thinking of something a little more extravagant but 
the holodeck's stuffed up again so it'll have to be a quiet evening in the 
lounge instead."

Angus sat up, "You don't waste much time do you?  Have you told Leana yet?"

"No, but I have to go to the brig anyway so I'll tell her while I'm there."

"I'll see you in an hour then."

Patrick walked to the door and pushed the button, nothing happened, he 
pushed it again.  On his fourth attempt the door reluctantly sidled open, 
Patrick turned to Angus again, "You've got to get someone to fix that door 

Angus chuckled, "No kidding.  Actually I could probably do it myself but I
really can't be bothered."

Patrick nodded understandingly and left the room.

Angus stepped out of his jumpsuit and into the rooms tiny shower unit, he 
activated it and felt the warm water soothe and revitalise him.  After 
about ten minuted he stopped the shower and dried himself, then walked to 
the cupboard.  When Angus had accepted this assignment he had not 
anticipated the need to take a lot of off-duty clothes with him, and the 
only suitable garments he found was his pair of black leather jeans and a 
mottled green silk shirt.  He looked at himself critically in the mirror 
and tried to arrange his mane of fair hair into a reasonably neat style.  
When at last he was satisfied he sat down on the setee to wait until it was
time to go.

When the time came he walked to the door and pressed the button, the door 
opened and Angus stepped out into the corridor, he reached into his shirt 
pocket and extracted his mirrored aviator sunglasses, put them on, then 
strode towards the off-duty lounge.

When he arrived Patrick was already there, he beckoned Angus to the table 
and he sat down.

"I came here a little early to get a head start." Patrick said, indicating 
the glass in front of him, "Can I get you one?"

"Yeah sure, I'll have a..."

"Okay, one Romulan ale coming up."

Angus eyed him suspiciously, "Where did you get your hands on Romulan ale?"

A grin split Patrick's face. "I have my sources," he replied and produced 
a bottle from under the table, he opened the bottle and filled an empty
glass which he handed to Angus.

Angus glanced at the clock on the wall.

"The girls won't be here for ten minutes or so," Patrick told him. "I left
some space for a quick drink and a chat before they arrive."

"So what did you want to chat about?" Angus asked.

"You first, is there anything I can tell you?"

Angus thought for a moment and then remerbered something that the big man 
had told him a couple of days ago, he hadn't yet found time to pursue the 
matter, "You said earlier that you and Leana were in the same class at the 

Patrick leant back in his seat, "Yes, that's right.  I'm not sure that any 
of the tutors would have considered her a perfect pupil, she was always 
getting into trouble of one kind or another."

"How come?"

Patrick took a swig of his drink, "You must be doing something right, 
because since this mission started I haven't seen, or heard, her lose her 
temper once.  And believe me, if she did we'd all know about it."

"I take it she's a bit... volatile then?" Angus asked.

"You could say that, the class's valedictorian found out the hard way, he
tried to crack on to her in a very ungentlemanly manner," Patrick winced
slightly at the recollection, "he couldn't stand up straight for weeks."

"So who was the valedictorian in your class?"

"His name was Rupert Steiner, a very capable officer I'm sure, but not the 
sort of man you'd have a pint with.  He was a complete arsehole, he was 
also the only guy in the class who managed to beat me in a straight fight. 
Everyone knew from day one that he would graduate at the top of our class,
he's the only person I've ever known who said he was going to specialise in
everything, and suceeded."

"I decided to specialise in tactical operations, I'm much happier behind 
the console and seeing my enemy on the viewer than actually in front of
me." Angus said.

"The combat stuff was all very easy for me, it was the written work that 
was killing me."

Angus took a sip of his drink, "I'm not sure I like this stuff." he said.

"That's normal, after the first glass you won't notice."

They sat silently for a moment, and then Patrick asked, "So whereabouts on 
Earth do you come from anyway?"

"Scotland originally, the Black Isle.  I spent a few years with my father 
on the Federation colony on Krai-Otemp four, it's the most barren and
unwelcoming place I've ever seen.  The colony was destroyed by a supposedly
renegade band of Ferengi, and so we had to move back to Earth.  It's a
lovely planet but I felt it was a bit too quiet fo my liking, a good place 
to grow up and a nice place to retire but I was looking for a bit more
adventure in my life."

"So you joined Starfleet."

"That's right, what led you to sign up?"

Patrick rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "To tell you the truth I'm not 
entirely sure, It was a fairly spontaneous move.  I spent a while as a 
bodyguard for a merchant, one day he stopped at Earth I handed in my 
notice.  I had to undergo all the extra examinations for not being a 
Federation citizen but I managed to get in without any problems."

Patrick looked up at the clock and then emptied his glass, "They should be 
here in a minute."

Angus looked out of the window, "Does this seem strange to you?  We're 
sitting in a warship, we've just had the pounding of our lives, one of the 
engines is leaving a colourful particle trace behind us and we're still in 
the middle of Kzinti space.  And we're sitting in a lounge drinking 
Romulan ale."

"I've drank Romulan ale in stranger places than this, okay so not very 
often, but I have."  Patrick took the bottle off the floor again and 
refilled his glass, "I still have another bottle after this one." he said 
as he topped up Angus' glass, "So you don't need to savour it too much."

The door swooshed open and Patrick and Angus both looked round at the 

McVyker hesitantly walked in with Leana just behind her, she was wearing a 
figure-hugging, shoulderless turquoise robe which complemented the tinge 
of her skin.  Her eyes glinted like rubies and Patrick tried hard not to 
gape.  Patrick unlike the captain did not find the red gaze disconcerting, 
on the contrary he found it appealed to him.

"You look stunning," he said.

"Leana helped me pick it, I don't know what it looks like to you."

"Take it from me, it looks great." Patrick stood up to pull out a seat for 
McVyker and Angus followed his example, taking out a seat for Leana.

Patrick fetched two more glasses then sat down at the table again and 
poured drinks for the two ladies.

Angus looked appraisingly at Leana, she was wearing a dark red skirt and a
scarlet satin chemise, "If I might say, you're looking especially ravishing

"Why thank you," she replied. "You're not looking so bad yourself.  Except 
for the glasses."

Angus took off his glasses and examined them critically. "What's wrong 
with them?" he asked plaintively.

"There's nothing *wrong* with them, I just want to see your eyes when I 
talk to you."

Angus folded them and slipped them back into his pocket.

At that point they heard Ramsay's voice over the comm system.

>"This is the captain speaking.  Tonight, at the beginning of Gamma shift,
>there will be a celebration to mark both the birth of my son, and the end 
>of our mission.  All crew members welcome."  

"Looks like it won't be such a quiet evening after all," Angus said to 

"I don't know, Gamma shift doesn't start for a couple of hours yet, that 
gives us plenty of time."

Gradually the two bottles of Romulan ale became more empty and the 
conversation became less inhibited.  By the time the rest of the crew 
started filtering into the lounge the four sitting around the corner table 
were already treading the road to alcoholic obliteration.

                       Respectfully submitted;
                        *  Allan MacLennan   *
                        *                    *
                        * [Lt.] Angus Murray *

          "Put your faith in God and keep your powder dry."
                           Oliver Cromwell

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