Your Enemy is Dead
It was late in the afternoon in the captain’s quarters, and Janice Rand was finishing up the archiving of the ship’s logs. Just a few feet away from her sat Captain Kirk, nose deep in bureaucratic paperwork. Rand was in particularly good spirits this morning while she labeled the recording wafers by mission and date, filed them in order, and placed them in one of the index draws in the wall behind her, where all of the captain’s logs were kept.
She sang softly to herself, looking up briefly to see the captain stretch back in his chair, placing his hands behind his neck.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m tired,” Kirk said, letting out a long sigh.
Rand smiled to herself, reaching into her desk and pulling out a new box of blank wafers.
“I can imagine, sir. You have a lot of bureaucracy to take care of.”
Rand waltzed over to the captain and positioned herself next to his desk.
“Is that work ready, sir? Can I take it?”
“Oh, yes, Yeoman,” said Kirk, gathering up some of the paperwork and handing it over to Rand, who took it from him.
When the paperwork was exchanged between the two of them, their fingers lightly brushed against each another.
Kirk looked up at Rand. Rand looked down at Kirk briefly and smiled.
There was an expression of anticipation and longing on the captain’s face.
Rand stood where she was and wondered what the hell was wrong with this man, as he sat at his desk, giving her a look that reminded her of a dog begging for his canned meal of horse meat.
“Is there anything else you need, sir?”
Kirk suddenly became blustery, clearing his throat and rubbing his nose.
“Uh, no. No, Yeoman. Everything’s fine,” he stammered.
“Okay,” she said, slipping back to her desk with the captain’s paperwork in hand.
As she placed the paperwork on her desk and reached for her padd, she somehow felt like she was being watched. She looked from her desk to find Kirk still looking at her, the expectancy still apparent on his face.
“Is everything all right, sir? Did I forget anything?” Rand asked, puzzled.
Kirk gave Rand a crooked, uneasy smile from where he sat.
“No, I’m fine,” he said haltingly.
He waved his hand, turned around, and returned to his work. Rand, shrugging her shoulders, returned to her own work when Kirk’s intercom beeped.
Rand wrote down notes on her padd while hearing the hysterical voice of Scotty rattle over the desk intercom. She chuckled to herself while she continued with her work, not really paying attention to this exchange, until Kirk’s voice took another turn.
“What? What were they thinking of, carrying on like that?” asked Kirk, his tone indignant.
Rand paused and lifted her head from her work. “What’s going on?” she thought.
Kirk was silent as Scotty went on and on about something that Rand couldn’t quite make out from where she sat.
“Look,” said Kirk exasperated. “I understand that you think very highly of this young lieutenant, but immature behavior is immature behavior! I’ll decide how he’ll be reprimanded, Scotty! Send him up.”
Kirk ended his correspondence with a sigh. “Will wonders never cease,” he murmured, throwing up his arms. Rand put her work aside and got up from her desk.
“Would you like for me to get the disciplinary forms uploaded, sir?”
“Yes, it looks like we might need it--though this particular case isn’t that serious. This young man will probably be sent to his quarters, and no worse.”
“Do you mind my asking who this is, sir?”
Just then, Rand heard the door open. Curious, she walked over to where the captain stood so she could see who was coming in. Rand could feel her mouth drop when she saw the large figure that entered Kirk’s quarters.
“Khobran!” exclaimed Rand.
The young Orion walked further into the captain’s quarter, his shoulders hunched. He looked dejected as he greeted his girlfriend.
“Hi, Janice,” he said, rather feebly.
“What happened down there, young man? Why exactly are you in my quarters facing possible disciplinary action?”
Khobran shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know where to begin, sir.”
“Start from where all happenings start; from the beginning, lieutenant,” Kirk demanded, his hands on his hips as he appraised the young engineering officer.
Rand had to fight the urge to roll her eyes at the captain’s bellowing.
“Give him a spotlight and a creaky, wooden stage,” she thought to herself.
She turned to look at Khobran and gave him a little smile of concern, while he smiled back in appreciation.
“Don’t look at her, look at me. I’m the one who decides your reprimand!” said Kirk with authority.
“Yes, sir,” said the young Orion standing in front of Kirk with his arms clasped behind him.
At first, Khobran hesitated, like a child having to explain his mischievous behavior to his schoolteacher. Then, when he started to recount the events that brought him to the captain’s quarters, the words came out easier for him.
“Well, I was working with my colleagues in engineering when a pal of mine asked me how my date with Janice went,” Khobran said, as he flashed Rand a dazzling smile that she returned.
The look on Kirk’s face was a cross between utter surprise and discomfort. His lips parted and eyes somewhat dazed, Kirk’s head ping-ponged from Rand to Khobran.
“Go on,” said Kirk, in a slightly wobbly voice.
The young lieutenant nodded and sighed before he continued his story. “Well, anyway, my friend was telling me how a lot of the guys on the ship have been trying to get a date with Janice for the longest time. I told him that the date was fantastic, that Janice is an amazing woman, and that I believed I hit gold!”
“Oh, that’s so sweet,” cooed Rand, hugging herself.
Khobran bit his lower lip and raised his brow in a flirtatious manner.
“Go on,” urged Kirk, a tinge of irritation now brimming in his voice.
“Sorry sir,” said Khobran, snapping back to attention. “Well, suddenly, this guy named Joel…”
“Uhg,” scoffed Rand with a dismissive wave of her hand.
Khobran continued his recounting of events while nodding at Rand knowingly. “..who, for no reason, makes this stupid comment about how ‘he bet I did hit gold when I met her!’”
“Jesus,” snorted Rand, rolling her eyes.
“With all due respect, Lieutenant, that statement could go either way. Perhaps he meant to pay Ms. Rand a compliment,” offered Kirk.
Khobran and Rand promptly shook their heads in disagreement.
“Not with the tone of his voice, sir. It came out slimy, snide,” said Khobran.
“Joel is a slimy, snide guy. That’s why I always turned him down whenever he asked me out,” said Rand simply.
“Yeoman, please! No more interruptions,” said Kirk, raising his hands up.
“I’m sorry, Captain,” said Rand looking at Khobran with affection.
“Well, anyway. I said ‘excuse me, what did you mean by that?’ And Joel said that ‘hitting gold was easy with Janice!’”
“What an utter degenerate,” said Rand.
“Janice, I won’t tell you again! Stop with the interruptions!” warned Kirk.
Khobran went on. “ Anyway, the other guys were telling me to ignore him. That he was just jealous because Janice never gave him the time of day. I must admit, though, that I couldn’t let it go. I told Joel to take back that nasty comment, and he refused. He actually repeated what he had said about Janice while he got in my face, or tried to. The situation escalated. Then, Joel tried to knock me down by ramming his head into my stomach. My stomach muscles are pretty strong, so he wasn’t successful. I reacted by grabbing him and giving him a wedgie. Then, I ended up hanging him by his underpants on the rafters, sir.”
Khobran ended his recount right then, and stood straight to attention with his hands folded behind his back like before. Then, an awkward silence between Khobran and Kirk followed. The captain stood there, rubbing his chin with the palm of his hand while he gave the Orion a look of disbelief. Then, soft laughter broke through the short-lived quiet. Kirk and Khobran turned to the direction of this mirth. Rand was doubled-up, leaning against the wall and holding herself by the waist, not even trying to contain herself in front of Captain Kirk. Khobran looked at Kirk, then turned to Rand. In spite of his seeming embarrassment, he started to laugh as well. It was a deep, resonant laugh that emerged from the pit of his belly to the back of his throat, erupting softly and mingling with Rand’s more high-pitched one.
“Well, pardon me for interrupting your happy hour, but this behavior in the engineering room is unacceptable, and I fail to see the humor in the situation!” Kirk said.
“I know, sir. I behaved in an immature manner, I admit it,” said Khobran, struggling through cachinnations.
“Hey, Khobran! You really showed that Joel! He’s a complete asshole, and he had it coming,” Rand said in convulsions.
“Ditto!” exclaimed Khobran, before losing it completely.
Kirk was speechless, looking on helplessly at this merry pair.
“Excuse me!” said Kirk, clearly at his wits end. “You two are dismissed to your quarters for the rest of the day!”
Rand suddenly became aware that Kirk was inhabiting the same space as Khobran and herself. She gasped for air, struggling to speak to Kirk.
“But, Captain? What about the forms…”
“Never mind that, Yeoman! I want the two of you out of my quarters and inside yours for the rest of the day. Now get out--the both of you--before I add more to this reprimand!”
The laughter finally stopped as Rand and Khobran looked at each other for a moment, stammered their apologies to the captain, and hastily left his quarters without saying another word.
Khobran and Rand walked away from the captain’s quarters in silence. Hands to their sides and not looking at each other, they went a good distance until the captain’s door was out of sight. Rand looked over her shoulder discreetly. When she couldn’t see the captain’s door anymore, she swatted Khobran on the hip.
“We’re in the clear,” she said.
Khobran turned to look for himself, and smiled. The two of them looked at each other and giggled. Khobran grabbed Rand by the hand and pulled her along down the corridor. They both ran like little children in free open space, as passer-bys looked on smiling.
Khobran and Rand were exuberant and breathless when they reached the door to Rand’s quarters. The young Orion let out a big cheer, picked Rand up by the waist and spun on his heels. They laughed while Rand threw her head back, stretching her arms out behind her. Then, gathering her close, Khobran reached in and gave Rand a robust, lingering kiss. Rand threw her arms around his neck, returning his kiss with equal fervor.
“Get a room,” quipped a crewman, scurrying past them and down the corridor.
The couple broke from their kiss and laughed, only mildly embarrassed by the intrusive, but good-natured remark. Khobran gently lowered Rand onto his feet, so that she was standing on them like stilts. Then, they took each other’s hands, interlacing their fingers together. Gently, Khobran lifted his feet, trotting back and forth, side to side, carrying his human companion in a sweet little dance.
“Oh Janice! I want so badly to be with you,” he said looking deep into his girlfriend’s eyes.
“Well, how about tomorrow night? I checked your schedule and saw that you were free,” she teased, recalling the time Khobran checked on her schedule, which led to that hot back end activity in the changing room.
The corners of Khobran’s lips curled slowly in a cocky little grin, nodding in acknowledgment to that bawdy reference. They kissed again, the tips of their tongues mingling.
“I sure wish that my quarters were next to yours,” said Khobran when he gently broke the kiss. “You know, when me and my sister were being naturalized in New Jersey, the hotel we stayed in had adjoining doors. We use to visit each other all the time and order room service! I can’t tell you how many meals we had!”
“Did those meals consist of Rippers?” Rand teased.
“No, unfortunately the hotel didn’t offer those. We asked, though!”
They chuckled, kissing each other.
“Are we on for tomorrow night?” he asked.
“Absolutely, lover. Where would you like for us to meet?”
Khobran tilted his head and grimaced playfully, feigning deep thought.
“How about…my place,” he said, snapping his finger.
“Ooh, does that mean that I get to see that magnificent emerald physique of yours?” asked Rand, barely able to contain a leer.
“Only if you’re good,” whispered Khobran smiling wide and bright.
They reached in, kissing each other one last time before he and Rand parted ways. Rand jumped off of Khobran’s feet, but held on to his hands. She didn’t want to leave him, even if it would only be for a day.
“See you then,” said Rand softly.
“Until tomorrow,” Khobran assured, his voice affectionate.
He squeezed her hands before releasing them and headed to his own quarters. Rand stood in her spot, watching him disappear when he turned the corner, before entering her own quarters to spend the remainder of the day.