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Call Me Mike - Chapter Three
#1
“You,” Brekath murmured huskily as the tip of M’Lasa’s tail danced across the back of his knee, “are a minx.”

She laughed softly. “Furry and soft… I like that,” she decided.

“Minx, you minx,” he countered, “not mink.”

“Minx?” she repeated.

“Minx,” he confirmed. “A saucy, impudent, young lady,” he informed her, then drew closer, kissing her soundly before, reluctantly, disengaging their entangled bodies and rolling onto the damp sand beside her.
“Impudent? Who talked who into sneaking into this cave, when we were supposed to be patrolling the beach?” she teased him lightly, rolling to face him.

He smiled at her, reaching out to draw a finger down the length of her muzzle before ending his touch at the tip of her nose. “As though the beach needed a patrol team,” he reminded her. “The only worry they have here is the pickpockets and petty thieves who were annoying the tourists. No tourists now,” he added quietly – then smiled again. “But with everything in hand – at least at the moment – T’Pij is trying to give every team some light duty missions in lieu of R&R. I think she’ll look the other way if we’re MIA for a few minutes.”

“A few minutes,” M’Lasa echoed with a laugh. “That was more than ‘a few minutes’,” she continued, adding, “not that I’m complaining.” She pushed herself up, looking around the cave before looking back to her lover. “I’m guessing we weren’t the first ones to find this place,” she murmured.

“Unlikely; this was probably a favorite of the tourists – before the tsunami,” he agreed. “Out of the sun, away from the crowds…”

“Smelling like dead fish…” she added.

“I though you liked dead fish!” he protested.

“I do,” she agreed, “but I would think that most couples wouldn’t.”

“Unless they’re Caitians,” he pointed out, running a finger down her muzzle again.

“Or Ferasans,” she added.

He chuckled. “Bring a few Ferasans here, and there wouldn’t be an issue with pickpockets or thieves,” Brekath reminded her. “Of course, without the tourists, there still isn’t an issue with them; no one to rob,” he pointed out.

She sighed. “You would think that the people here wouldn’t need to resort to that,” M’Lasa said. “Kylara isn’t allied with the Federation, but they have access to all our resources; education, employment, decent wages, food, lodging – no one needs to steal from anyone else.”

“True – providing the people know about the resources, of course. Ignorance can be devastating,” he added quietly, then fell silent.

Seeing an expression of pain and emptiness cross his face, M’Lasa pulled herself closer to him, then wrapped her arm around his bare back.
“Brek?” she said softly. “What is it?”

He was quiet for a moment, then spoke, his voice quiet. “There was a House - a governing family,” he clarified, “that held a coastal estate near one of my father’s. Good fishing grounds that brought in a huge amount of revenue for the House – and, away from the ocean, good farming land so even more revenue.

“It should have been enough to ensure that everyone there was well fed, well-housed, well-educated – but those things cost money – and money is power on my world. So they lived a minimal life; just enough to eat, shelters that were little more than tree fronds over woven mats, no schools, no education, just what they needed to farm and to fish… When the earthquake hit, the houses collapsed, the farmers rushed back from the fields to check their families, the fishermen hurried back to the shore from their boats… No one knew that they needed to run for the highlands. They all stayed on the flatlands, waiting, trying to figure out what to do next. When the tsunami reached the beach a few hours later. it killed all but a few. A hundred thousand? Two? The House never knew how many had lived there – or how many died - and cared even less.

“I never knew,” he added. “I never even knew it happened until my father announced that he had acquired the estate; the tsunami had ruined the land for a decade to come, and the loss of revenue put the House on the verge of ruin. Even then, I didn’t know about the destruction and the deaths, only that there had been a change in the Houses. My father forced them into a sale at a terrible discount, knowing he could use their misfortune to benefit himself and the status of our House. Then, when the land had regained a measure of viability, moved a hundred thousand of our people onto the new estate. They had to rebuild from nothing, never knowing what had happened – or that they would be at equal risk if it happened again.”

“But seismic stabilizers could have prevented another earthquake – or he could have put in warning systems!” M’Lasa protested. “The Federation would have provided them at no cost…”

“Except the cost of pride,” Brekath countered. “The Great Houses don’t ask for help; to do so is to show weakness. Better a million die than to lose your reputation. Life on my world is cheap, Lasa,” he said softly. “Unless you’re one of the Great Leaders, your life has no value and no meaning.” He thought for another moment. “Maybe that’s why I joined Starfleet,” he mused, then managed a smile. “At least on some level, maybe I was thinking that my life could have some meaning… though I don’t think I was thinking that then.” The smile became a chuckle. “I don’t think I even realized it – or much of anything – then. I didn’t know what I had – or didn’t have – and certainly not what I was missing.” The smile grew genuine – and passionate - as he met her gaze. “Definitely not what I was missing,” he added.

M’Lasa laughed, moving her hand to the middle of his chest, pressing him back. “You’re going to have to put that thought on hold, handsome. Lt. T’Pij may have given us this assignment knowing it was a cakewalk, but she’s still expecting us to do our work.” She smiled at him. “Tonight? My quarters this time? You’re roommate’s a slob,” she added with a noisy sniff.

Brekath frowned, nodding. “I keep hoping he gets that promotion he keeps going on about,” he muttered. “Lieutenants get their own private quarters,” he said, then brightened. “You could, you know, move in. Once he gets that promotion. I mean… if you wanted to…”

A look of sorrow crossed her face. Seeing the expression, he felt every trace of hope fall to the ground. “Las?” he asked worriedly. “I didn’t mean… am I going to fast? I’ve never done this before – I mean, had a relationship. If I’m moving too fast… I mean, we talked about it… I mean…”

She silenced him with a touch, a smile on her face, but the sadness still in her eyes. “No, it’s not too fast, Brek, but…”

“But what?”

“But…” she started, then drew a deep breath. “But Breske isn’t the only one who’s going to get a promotion soon,” she said. “I know you haven’t said anything – but everyone knows you’ve been had how many meeting with T’Pij lately? You’re being considered for promotion, aren’t you? The only reason they’ve waited this long to promote you is because no one gets promoted from ensign to lieutenant right out of the Academy,” she reminded him. “And I’m happy for you – but ensigns and lieutenants can’t fraternize. Not officially – and I don’t think either of us wants to ruin our careers over a little sex. Good as it is,” she added.

He smiled, gave a soft bark of a laugh, then shook his head. “It is good – not that I have a basis of comparison,” he admitted, “but… No. They aren’t going to promote me,” he replied.

She pursed her lips dismissively. “Right,” she said. “Of course they aren’t. They simply opted to have you as their primary security lead on almost every away team to the mycellial islands because you have a nice butt. Seriously Brek, I don’t know how you managed to ingratiate your way into those teams, but…”

“Ingratiate?” he replied, pulling back with mock offense. “I did not _ingratiate_ myself into that team. Sending me down there was Rees' way of testing me after Culkins was hurt – seeing if my moment of not being his doormat was going to last, or if it was just fatigue and exhaustion.” He relented, dropping the feigned indignation, and moved closer to her and drawing her into his arms. “Seriously, Las, I think it was his way of giving me one final test before he kicked my sorry butt – nice as it may be – off the ship and stranded me on the moons of Andor. I surprised him – and myself – but mostly the away team. It turns out that they liked me. Maybe because I was willing to do all that grunt work – soil samples, spore samples, water samples, tissue samples from the tardigrades…”

“The tardigrades,” she sighed. “You and those tardigrades.”

“They’re cute!” he protested.
“They kill people!”

“Only when they’re threatened,” he countered. “And I like them, so they don’t feel threatened by me, and everyone is happy.”

“Fine,” she muttered. “Just don’t bring one back to my quarters. It’s bad enough that you track in dirt and water and spores…”

“You don’t have to worry about that,” he replied.

She smiled – then her expression fell. “Then you are going to take the promotion,” she managed, sorrow coloring her voice.

“No,” he replied gently. “First, because T’pij hasn’t offered it, and second… because I’m leaving the Hoffman,” he explained.

She stared at him in shock. “Leaving… Brek,” she managed in a strained whisper, “if it’s something I said… or did…”

He reached to her, shaking his head. “It’s got nothing to do with you, Las – or maybe, it has everything to do with you. Ever since that day with you and the team, I’ve started to feel… alive. Really alive. For the last three months, it's as though I’m starting to see the bigger picture – a world outside myself.

“Working on the island with the away team, I began to see that I thought my horizons were limited to security because it was the only thing I was capable of doing – but I’m realizing it’s not!” he said, the amazement in his voice as real as it had been the first time it had occurred to him.
“I’m enjoying my work on the island. I like the team – but I love the biology, the ecology, the chemistry, the research… It’s my chance to work on something that’s unknown, and I’m finding I really like it!

“And,” he added, “I’m not the only one who’s seen that,” he added a little shyly.

M’Lasa looked at him, perplexed. “What do you mean?”

“Cmdr. Tranforth reviewed the away team reports – and asked if I’d be interested in changing career paths from Security to Science. He asked if I’d be interesting in returning to the Academy - and the captain agress with him," he added, his voice still hushed from the surprise of hearing the captian's support of hiw efforts. "I’d be enrolling in the accelerated program in researching the mycelial network. I’d be at the Academy for six months, then the next six in the field, then back at the Academy for a while, and so. It would take three years – maybe a bit less as there is so much that we don’t know about the network – but I’d graduate a full lieutenant,” he said – then shook his head. “Me, Las, going back to school voluntarily for three years? I barely made it through security training! And now…” He shook his head again, then stopped, looking at her devastated expression – and smiled.

“Tranforth said I don’t have to go alone. Don’t worry,” he added hastily, “I didn’t talk out of turn, nothing about you in specific, but… but he wants me to go – and he and the captain aggreed that they he could work out sending two people back – if the other person wanted to do advanced coursework, or maybe a career change of her own,” he said quietly. “We’d both be full lieutenants at the same time – no issue with fraternization or anything like that.”

She studied him for a long time, then shook her head. “I don’t know, Brek. I don’t want to say ‘no’, but I sort of feel like I just got my own feet on the ground, and the thought of going back…” She shook her head again, then met his gaze. “But I’m not going to just say ‘no’. Let’s talk about it at dinner – maybe meet with a counselor and Cmdr. Tranforth to see what options there are for me… Who knows? Maybe I’ll become a tardigrade wrangler,” she added lightly, then drew closer to him. “I’m not promising anything,” she cautioned him, “but I’m willing to consider it,” she admitted, then drew herself closer and began to kiss him.

The kiss deepened, growing in intensity – then he broke away abruptly. “Well, there won’t be any opportunities for either of us if we don’t report in soon. This may be the easy patrol, but T’Pij will bust us both to cadet if we muck it up. Let’s get dressed and finish this up.” He looked around the cave, smiling at the thought that this might well be his last day as a security officer and this his last patrol.

It was not, he decided as his gaze turned to his lover, a bad way to end things.

Still smiling, he moved toward the opening of the cave where they had hastily thrown their clothes, disrobing as they made their way to the back of the cave, away from the noise of the construction teams rebuilding the ruined city and the chance of any stray eyes catching them in mid-tryst – the stopped.

Where their clothes should have been, however, there was nothing but sand – and the depressions of small feet.

Someone, he thought, probably the very pickpockets and thieves they had been watching for, must have been watching them. Or more likely, watching the cave. Surely it had been a common site for tourists seeking out a deserted spot for the same reasons he and M’Lasa had used it – and lost in the same distractions that they had been, the thieves would have crept in and stolen whatever they could: money, jewelry, devices…

Or, in their case, clothes.

“Damn it! Damn it!” Brekath growled angrily even as M’Lasa broke down, laughing as she realized the situation – then he sighed, laughing as well. “Well, it was a nice dream while it lasted. There’s no way I’m going to be offered a return to the Academy now – not after letting our clothes be stolen!”

M’Lasa kept laughing, tears beginning to run from her eyes, then shook her head. “There is a certain irony about it,” she agreed, then straightened, moving back to where they had lain in the sand. Fishing about in the sand, she pulled up one of their commbadges. “At least we learned never to let these get too far away,” she said, brandishing the badge, then tabbed it. “M’Lasa to Fesplar.”

A moment later a feminine voice returned. “Lass! What’s up? Don’t worry about me walking in on you and hot stuff tonight; I’m bunking with Kirbs. The place is all yours!”

“Thanks – but I need a favor,” the Caitian countered. “We had a bit of an accident… can you send down a couple of uniforms for me and Brek?” she asked, then added, “You can send them to these coordinates.”

There was a moment of stunned silence, then a bright laugh followed. “Wow! Just… wow. Well, it’s gonna cost you!” the other voice said after a moment. “I want details, Las! All of them!”

“Tomorrow,” she agreed.

“Deal. Give me a few minutes, though.”

“Thanks, Samha. I owe you one,” M’Lasa said.

“You sure do! Fesplar out.”

Tabbing the badge to cut the communication, M’Lasa turned to Brekath. “Problem solved… and we have a few minutes to ourselves,” she added.

“Got any ideas of how we could fill the time?” she asked with a purr.

“A few,” he admitted, then sighed. “Those were my lucky pants,” he muttered. “Every time I wore them, I got lucky.”

She moved into his arms, smiling. “Brekkie, I promise: you're still going to get lucky."
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#2
I did not expect a romance between a Klingon and Caitian. Caitian are not as fragile as human women, I hope.

I imagine now a Vulcan crew mate in his quarters near the quarters where these two are as the ferociously mate. It’s his 3rd attempt at meditation and the bangs and snarls from the adjacent room is seriously affecting his emotion suppression skills.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for more to read
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#3
(02-14-2021, 10:40 PM)bu'hert Wrote: I did not expect a romance between a Klingon and Caitian.  Caitian are not as fragile as human women, I hope. 

I imagine now a Vulcan crew mate in his quarters near the quarters where these two are as the ferociously mate.  It’s his 3rd attempt at meditation and the bangs and snarls from the adjacent room is seriously affecting his emotion suppression skills. 

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for more to read

He's a Kerbali - an homage to Kerbal Space Program - not a Klingon. I wanted a race that didn't have an established background, as I wanted to play with the culture. That said, I have no doubts that my Caitian could hold her own in a battle of the fates. Woe unto the poor Vulcan, though.

And there is more in the works, waiting on some time to write (meaining, I need more Omega particles first!!!!)
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