Literary Challenge #37 : Mirror, Mirror on the... Viewscreen?
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Join Date: Sep 2012
01-23-2013, 12:40 PM
On the viewscreen, a human female grinned. Her bright red hair was straight and flowing around her shoulders. Scars ran across the left eye from the forehead to the cheek and most of the damage was covered by a black eye patch. She was clearly sitting in a shuttlecraft since the background revealed walls and functional panels with no other crew member in sight. "Hello captain," says Kathryn Beringer, "I have a favor to ask."
Everyone looking at the viewscreen on the bridge of the
was stunned. Some looked to their captain for a response; others just sat quietly, fingers raised above their stations waiting for orders.
Captain Beringer stood from the command chair. "I wondered if I'd ever meet ... me."
The one with the eye-patch raised her head without looking away. "Under other circumstances, I wouldn't care to and doubt we would have. I'm glad to see you're still alive. For now." Her grin widened.
Kathryn lowered her head and looked at the screen sternly. "You're right, I shouldn't care either." She looked to her Tactical Officer. "Anthi, remove that shuttle from this universe."
"Belay that order," shouted Kathryn from the screen. The Andorian heard her 'captain's' voice and paused; it was all the time the visitor needed. "I can save the Federation."
Kathryn raised her hand and Anthi caught that queue then sat back in her chair.
"I'm reluctantly listening."
Kathryn on the screen waved a finger. "We need to talk privately. I'll meet you on your ship as a sign of good faith."
Kathryn on the ship crossed her arms and considered the offer; the taste of ordering her alternate-self a quick phaser-fueled death was on the tip of her tongue, but the idea that one person had the means to 'save' the Federation was too-good to pass. Yet, any person to say something like that must be desperate and in a low position to bargain or negotiate ... and that appealed to Kathryn.
"Lower your shields, prepare to be transported."
On the screen, Kathryn stood and walked to the center of the shuttle with raised hands. "I surrender," she said with a perfectly toothy grin.
30 minutes later, in the Officer's Ready Room
“That's insane.” Kathryn Beringer was visibly angry at her alternate universe self.
“That's the way of the universe,” replied the other Kathryn.
The 'prime' Kathryn sat like a statue staring at the eye patch. “So the part about saving the Federation was a ruse?”
“Of course it was! I’m staring down the barrel of a gun and needed to get out of the way. Look, I can't be in two places at once. But for this, I must be and you’re my only way out.”
“This is really thin, Captain. Why should I help you? Like I said earlier, I shouldn't care at all for your problems.”
The other Captain nodded. “I asked for a favor ... as much as I hate to ask. This is a quid pro quo situation. Basically, you'll have a one-time ally, you have my word.” Another toothy grin followed.
Kathryn grinned. “What is the value of your word?”
The alternate Kathryn's grin faded and she leaned over the table. “Captain, I'm sure we differ in many ways, but I'll kill you before you question my honor again. We know how big the galaxy is, and every starship Captain can use all the help they can get.” She crossed her arms and sat back.
15 minutes later, in the Captain's Ready Room, all Chiefs are present with the ‘prime’ Captain Beringer, the alternate Kathryn beamed back to her shuttle ...
“Respectfully, I do not approve of this course of action.” Anthi's Andorian voice was stern.
Chief Science Officer Omazei spoke next. “Captain, I appreciate your risk-taking in the past but this is beyond reason.” Her demure Trill form hiding the inner strength she displayed so often on the Bridge.
Finally, the hulking Andorian Thel,
Chief Engineer crossed his arms and frowned, but otherwise was silent.
Kathryn looked to each as they presented their opinions in their own way, and then nodded. “I understand. Nonetheless it is happening.” She raised a hand to stop the continued protest. “I appreciate your concern, but I assure you taking this 'job' may actually have a payoff worth the investment. Look, we've been through a lot together and if I have earned any trust then I'm cashing it all in all on this one.”
“Why?” Omazei was uncharacteristically blunt.
“Because I believe the ends justify the means.”
1 hour later, on board
, alternate Kathryn Beringer's flagship ...
In the room, the two women looked at each other, one an exact copy of the other. The Captain of the ship beamed with a bright smiled. “Your Science Officer did an amazing job replicating that scar. Now all you need to do is be a real ***** to my bridge crew. Remember, look over their shoulder and correct something, anything. If they snarl or say anything … pistol whip them into compliance. You shouldn't have too many problems really. They know what it's like.”
“Just get this done quick. The more I think about it, the less your offer appeals to me.”
Kathryn smirked. “That's the Federation in you.”
The modified Kathryn rolled her eye, took a step away, cleared her throat and stalked into the corridor leading to the turbolift. The other Kathryn checked her combat harness to make sure all the components were in place. Once satisfied she waited another several minutes; just enough time required to get from this room to the Bridge. She gave another two minutes then walked the opposite direction down the corridor.
Several minutes later she came to a crew quarter door and looked both ways before requested access. The door opened to reveal a naked male. The Deltan smirked. “It's about time you came around to my way of thinking.”
Kathryn pushed on past him. “Daikar, we don’t have much time.”
“Well then, I'm sorry to report, but you're going to be late.” He started to caress Kathryn's shoulders and she responded by leaning into his muscular chest while fidgeting with the straps to her the combat harness, its clamps unsnapping almost rhythmically to his kisses on her neck. Daikar's hands moved from her thighs and under the straps as if trying to assist its removal.
Kathryn stepped forward from his arms and turned. In her hands was a small pistol whose power charge was warming up. Daikar's face contorted from surprise to anger. “What's the meaning of this?”
“You will never touch another woman again.” She pulled the trigger and the thin Tetryon beam lanced into the darkness. Daikar tried to scream but the beam burned first into his throat. As his skin boiled then dissolved subatomically, Kathryn dragged the beam down. The charge expired silencing the weapon as Daikar’s body collapsed to the floor. Almost fifty percent of his body was disintegrated. The acrid smell of exposed internal organs assaulting her sense of smell, Kathryn gagged then pressed her communication badge. The signal to her compatriot sent, she exited the room as quietly as she entered.
On the bridge of
, Kathryn's badge chirped. She stood over the still form of a Tellerite on the deck with her phaser pistol in one hand. She looked around at the others then pointed in a wide arc without saying a word. The rest of the bridge crew looked at their respective consoles in submission.
“Tactical, you have the con,” she barked. “And get this scum off my bridge floor.” As a Terran officer shuffled toward the fallen comrade, Kathryn slowly walked toward the turbolift. Once inside, she smirked as the doors closed.
Kathryn S. Beringer -
The Dawn Patrol
Last edited by cmdrscarlet; 01-25-2013 at
. Reason: Added final stanza