Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today. It's been that way all this year. It's been that way so many times. All of war is that way.
(Ernest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls)
<<Another slight backlog, occurring before bridge and engineering are retaken>>
[USS Charon, Deck Three]
"What the hell were those idiots thinking!"
"I submit, Mr Tisdale, that the individuals in question were attempting to provide a distraction while drawing forces from other areas."
"Blowing the entire shuttlebay to hell? That's a distraction alright. Rehu is going to have the fit of fits, the Iliad of fits, a tantrum that'll make Achilles look like a schoolboy who lost his popsicle."
"The Captain does appear to have a rather volatile temper, however your metaphor would seem a mild exaggeration."
"Mild " Robert Tisdale, scientist and self-proclaimed 'Only person with a lick of sense on this bucket' stopped dead in the middle of yet another Gods-damn Jefferies tube and glared at the admittedly charming behind of the female crawling ahead of him. For a second or two those lovely hips kept on moving before the Vulcan realized there was no sound of the gruffy human following any more and she stopped, looking over her shoulder. "Mr Tisdale? Do you require rest?"
"Cherie, the thing I require is a stiff drink. And a couple of other things that I won't go into right now." Hells Bells, out of all the people he could have run into in his desperate quest to save his fine spirits from the damn nuisances that had suddenly appeared in his domain which was Charon's bar, it had to have been another nuisance. How many days and nights, his sleep deprived and muddled brain added helpfully he had been stuck with the Vulcan, hiding from damn Rommies and killing them when hiding was no longer an option yes, thank you dear Monsieur little voice at the back of my head, she was the one doing most of the killing except for that cretin who'd made contact with a Tisdale fist before getting shot with his own disruptor - and anyways, Robert simply had lost track. What was even worse, she was a fine specimen of womanhood, even for a pointy ear, and he hadn't so much as dropped an innuendo. Which either meant he found more than her bum charming bloody likely or he needed a doctor.
"There is still zero point four three liters of water in the canteen we acquired. If you "
"Zero point four. Sure it's not point three? And no, I wasn't talking about water." Shaking his head, the tall human wrestled into a sitting position and rubbed his temples. This was idiotic. What, there were only a hundred or so Warbirds zipping around outside and a few thousand or so damn Rommies on the twice damned space station, Gods knew how many on the triple damned planet and they were merrily crawling about the ship as if they stood a chance in hell. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. Take back your ship. Have faith. Yea, eat my shorts.
"Mister Tisdale "
"Robert. Ahr Oh Beeh never mind. Hand over that water, willya?"
Having grown accustomed to the human's idiosyncrasies as it were, T'Min simply reached for the requested item and held it out for the Commander to grasp. He appeared to be suffering from both mental and physical fatigue, evident in the steady decrease of sarcastic remarks and inappropriate comments, but the Vulcan had no experience how one would well, encourage a human to be annoying. Having drained the canteen to what T'Min estimated roughly zero point two five liters, he gestured for her to refresh herself as well but received only a polite negative gesture in return. A gesture that was as lost on the human as ancient Vulcan script. "I am fully capable of "
"Going without, I know. Stop being an idiot. You haven't had a drop to drink or a scrap of food since I ran into you. Proved your badass attitude and stamina and whathaveyou. I'm impressed. I would fall over in this cramped little excuse for a crawlspace if I wouldn't end up with your boot in my eye, so impressed am I. Now drink."
"Mr Tis "
"Attention all hands. This is Federation Ambassador Ian Lamont. Romulan forces have seized the Charon. Many of you have escaped capture and have taken up arms against them resulting in injury and bloodshed on both sides "
"What in the blazes?"
Great, just great. Not even here were you safe from the psychological warfare bull first the Romulan with a serious lack of humor, then that marine who needed some happy thoughts. Then the next Romulan, only theirs this time, all of them broadcasting over the ship's intercom until you just wanted to bang your head against a wall to stop it from hurting. And now that stuck-up do-gooder who loved nothing more than to hear himself talk, stating the obvious. If Robert didn't get a drink soon, he might volunteer to step in front of a firing squad.
"I have been asked by our Romulan guests to aid in ending this strife and struggle. It must be quickly ended so that no additional lives are needlessly lost "
"You got to be kidding me."
T'Min moved as if to shush him, her pretty head canted to the side, listening. But Robert had just about enough. "That pompous son of a "
"He is being coerced."
"Oh? Mighty fine ears you got there, hearing the little voice screaming 'I don't wanna be the Rommie lapdog please help me' "
A sigh. The Vulcan had actually if nothing else it shut the Commander up.
" by making the decks run green! Wade into them! Spill their blood! Avenge those who have fallen in the line of duty "
"A bit melodramatic, isn't he?"
" RISE UP! RETAKE THE CHARON AND ENSURE "
When it became clear that nothing more was forthcoming, the Vulcan and the human sitting in the cramped tube exchanged glances and shrugs. Well, one shrug one funny look.
"I believe I shall have that water now, Mr Tisdale."
"There's a good pointy eared girl. Wait a minute. I know that look. You're up to something."
"How did you arrive at that conclusion, Commander?"
He watched the raven haired woman drain the canteen and put it aside, which only confirmed his suspicions. She didn't think there would be any more, nor that she would need it.
"Let's say I got some experience with pigheaded, stubborn green blooded elves and leave it at that, shall we? Plus, my second wife had that same look about her just before she threw me out of the house."
"Cherie, you are not going to go barreling out there. Wading. The only green that'll splatter all over the place will be are you laughing at me?"
"Mr Tisdale I should think you are aware that Vulcans do not laugh."
"Yea? I'm calling bullshit."
So, she was an impressive sight, all lean and tall and pretty and Gods, could she dish out some pain. Majestic even, with her high cheekbones and that inky black hair, braided and coiled, lovely but practical, and it always made you wonder just how far down it would fall if it were loose. With her by now no longer spit-an-shine but still neat terracotta uniform and that long, slightly curved sword strapped across her back she could have jumped right out of some old myth, a Celtic warrior queen like Boudicca with some elvish blood tossed in. Still, Robert had the sudden urge to give her a good smack upside the head. Or pull her by those charming ears and shake any funny, suicidal ideas out of her.
"I've seen you cringe, mon minou. And I've sure as hell " he had been about to say 'seen you cry' though some part of him insisted that would be crossing a line. Not that there had been actual tears, and she'd have no qualms about telling him that. But even a man as sensitive as a granite wall could see certain things if he wasn't a complete and utter moron. Just as Robert could pretty damn well add one and one. She'd been in Eris Deck, usually with all the other pointy ears, but one tall boy with silver streaks in his hair had never been far. A handsome one to be sure, though as emaciated as the rest of them and hovering over her like Robert would hover for damn sure if he had a girl like that there he was thinking about her this way again. A Vulcan. He really needed a drink.
Never mind the fact a blind man with crutches could have figured out they were a couple and if the sudden out of nowhere little sound she had made before she cried without ever shedding a single tear was any indication, she was a widow now, too. Damn this whole hare brained mission, damn the Romulans, and most of all damn the lack of Whiskey in these Gods-forsaken parts.
"I've sure seen you give a smirk here and there when you thought no one was looking. So don't pull your 'I've got as much emotion as a brick' routine on me, alright?"
"Duly noted, Mr Tisdale."
And what the hell had that look been for? A crack in the invisible armor, letting out that tiny split-second of gratitude, and he was grinning like a schoolboy. No, a glass wouldn't do. He needed a whole bottle, and soon.
"So you're hell bent on wading, aren't you?"
"I fail to comprehend the implication of this word. Or your obvious delight in repeating it."
Off she went, crawling with an elegance that was reminiscent of a severely underfed tiger stuck in a mole's tunnel. All that was left to Robert was shuffle along like a bulldog with a toothache.
"Never you mind my delight. Where are we going?"
"Logic suggests that any freed crew will first attempt to secure main engineering. As we happen to be in the near ideal location to '
"You could have just said bridge, you know?"
"See how easy that was?"
He knew it. It was going to be one of those days
Cmdr Robert Tisdale