Sunday, September 30, 2012

'Tis Charity to Show Chapter II Part 3

‘Tis Charity to Show
Chapter II
Part 3

Rand left the changing room in a shot, pacing herself as quickly as she possibly could, away from the unwanted company of a certain nurse. 

“Hey, Janice!  Wait up!”

Rand continued, stepping up her pace and looking straight ahead, maneuvering around other pedestrians in a desperate attempt to lose this woman in the corridors. 

“I seeee yoou!”

God, she couldn’t get a moment’s peace down the goddamn hall!  Was this a little glimpse of how her time on Tijus would be? 

“There you are!”  said Rose, breathing heavily.

Wasn’t Starfleet personnel supposed to be in tip-top physical condition?

“I sure wish we didn’t have to wear these stupid jumpsuits!  I hate the way I look in them!”

“Is this a mission, or a fashion show?”  Rand thought to herself caustically.

Looking at the two women together, one might be able to understand Rose’s insecurities.  Side by side, the differences in the way they looked in their tan form-fitting jumpsuits was so stark in contrast, it was almost comical.  Rose’s thick-waisted, thick-limbed, medium-height physique made her look like a single piece of sausage in shrink-wrapping.  Even her medium ashy-brown hair lacked definition, styled in a cut that appeared to be growing out of whatever shape it was originally intended for.

Listening to Rose go on and on was absolutely insufferable.  What exactly was it in her physiology that kept those lips flapping and those cords honking out mish-mosh?  She would be sure to try to avoid this woman by any means possible on Tijus, “trying” being the operative word.  Rand wasn’t sure, quite frankly, if it would be possible at all, the six of them stuck together for a time on a desert planet.  She shuddered at the thought.

It was a sign of mercy from above when the two women reached the transporter room.  They walked through the double automated doors and saw the rest of the landing party dressed in their desert terrain attire, placing needed equipment onto the transporter pad.

 There was one tall man who was not a part of the landing party, as his broad tapered back was clad in the red tunic of engineering, but he was hoisting up a particularly large, heavy piece of equipment with the ease that a human would with a great big stuffed animal, of an huge empty cardboard box.  Rand stopped walking and stood still, catching her breath.  When Khobran placed the generator onto the transporter pad, he turned around. 

The two lovers were hooked together by the power of their gazes, enclosing them under an invisible capsule of their own making that no one else could enter.  Khobran moved ever so slightly, trying to get on with his duties, but he stayed where he was.  Rand walked towards him with quiet determination, her eyes never leaving him, holding him with an expression on her face that said: “We’re not done here, and you’ll never be able to shake me.  Don’t try it.”  But, what came out of her mouth was a tender, sweet “Hi, Khobran.”

She could feel her eyes sting, and she frankly didn’t care whether people would be able to see her cry if she did so.  If it embarrassed Khobran, then so be it.

 Khobran looked down at Rand, his eyes conveying both longing to be with her and pleading for her to keep away.   Love and pain.  When he finally managed to pull away from her, it was with a hesitation that spoke of a conflict going on inside him.  Good.  That was exactly where she wanted him. 

Rand followed Khobran with a hawk’s eye when he positioned himself behind the transporter console.  She prowled after him, undulating her hips, running her fingertips over the edges of the shining black control board.  Gathering her hands behind her back, Rand leaned back into the console, displaying her graceful curves encased in her terrain jumpsuit for Khobran’s benefit.  He ignored Rand, or tried to, but his extreme focus on the panel controls were a dead-out giveaway to his uneasiness.  Khobran’s handsome face looked strained, and his neck was craned downward in a way that it made Rand worry that he might be hurting himself, and all on account of avoiding eye contact with her.  She could see a small vein popping from the side of his neck as he glued his eyes on the control board.

“A little bit too much concentration, don’t you think?” she asked lightly, looking into his face.

Khobran parted his lips, and he shifted his feet back and forth, his eyes darting rapidly under her scrutiny.  Was he squirming? 

“Energize,” Scotty called back to Khobran.

Khobran promptly pulled the mechanism down, which transmuted the equipment into scrambling light particles that vanished from sight.

“You did that well,” said Rand smiling softly.

Khobran turned his head in Rand’s direction and then quickly snapped it back down to the console. 

“Uhm, have everything you need for the mission?” he asked tentatively, his deep voice catching at the end of his last word.

“Yes, I do.”  Rand pushed herself up from the console and pressed herself gently against him.

“Is that the last of the equipment, Scotty?”  he asked, his composure slipping as he continued to shift on his feet.  Back and forth…back and forth…

“Yes, laddy!  That’s it,” said Scotty with a bright smile.

“Well, I guess that’s your cue, huh?” Khobran said to Rand.

It was then that he mustered up the courage to look directly at her, his love for her so achingly apparent in his eyes.  Oh, God, Khobran.  I’m so sorry.  I love you, don’t you know that?

“Khobran,” Rand said, reaching for his shoulder and squeezing it.  “I wish you were coming with me on this mission,” she half-whispered.

Rand gave him one more lingering look before she turned away and headed for the  transporter platform.  She took her place on one of the pads, next to Riley, and turned to face Khoban as he stood, a tad shaken, behind the controls.

“Ready to beam down, Lieutenant,” Mr. Spock said from where he was situated. 

Khobran worked the controls, his capable hands making final adjustments for landing party beam down.

“The equipment should be just a few centmeters in front of you when you arrive on the planet,” said Khobran, glancing at Rand every now and then.

“Very good,” said Spock. “We are ready for beam down, Mr. Khobran.”

Rand watched Khobran pull the transporting lever down, and a light, tingly, swirling sensation coursed upwards and across her body.  At the point of near dematerialization, Rand felt a tear fall from her eye when she looked at Khobran for the last time, his yearning face rippling and finally submerging into the vast ocean of cold black space.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'Tis Charity to Show Chapter II Part 2: Warning for sexual content

‘Tis Charity to Show
Chapter II
Part 2

Rand walked quickly through the large, orderly labyrinth of the busy changing room station, clothes and equipment cradled in her arms as she searched for an available stall.  Finally spotting an empty room, Rand claimed it, stepped in and placed her stuff on a table.  Once settled, she walked over to the corner where the open and shut mechanism was situated and positioned her hand over the button, when she heard a low pitched, nasal voice from just outside the hall.

“Mind if I join you?”

Rand turned to see a smiling Nurse Rose standing in the hall of the labyrinth, holding her own stuff in her arms.

“Shit,” thought Rand.  “Is she kidding?”  She let out a defeated breath and motioned Rose to come in.  “You’re already here, Hyacinth. Come on.”

Rose eagerly stepped in and placed her clothes and equipment next to Rand’s on the table.  Judging from the vacant smile on her face, Rose had clearly missed the dripping sarcasm rimming in Rand’s voice.  Rose started talking immediately, not wasting even a moment of quiet time.

“Wow!  Talk about a mission, huh?  What on earth do you suppose happened to those people?  Talk about hide-and –seek, huh?”

Rand tried to ignore Rose as she pressed the mechanism that shut the door to the changing room.  When the two women had privacy, Rand walked over to the table where her clothes and equipment sat.

“Yeah, hide-and-seek,” said Rand dispassionately, paying more attention to her hair than to Rose’s yammering.  She gingerly pulled the bobbi pins from her French twist, working her fingers through her hair until it fell to the length of her back.  Rand placed the pins on the table and began to undress. 

Rand was not too happy right now.  Between being stuck in this room with Miss Chatterbox and her guilt over hurting Khobran, this day was certainly not starting out too well.  Perhaps, maybe, this mission would keep her preoccupied. Right now, that was the one thing she had to look forward to.  Hopefully, she’d be able to avoid Rose as much as possible during the mission.  At least Rand could be thankful that she was a yeoman, and not a doctor.   

“Oh, wow!  Look at you, girl,” said Rose jauntily.

Rand turned to Rose as she placed her uniform, pantyhose, red shorts and undergarments on the table.

“What’s wrong?” asked Rand, annoyed.

“You have such a nice figure, all slender and curvy at the same time.  Look at those breasts—they just shoot out like heat-seeking missiles! Full speed ahead!”

Rose fell back in loud whooping guffaws, her face turning chili-pepper red, her belly shaking.  Rand smirked, and positioned herself so that she was squarely facing Rose.

“Wait ‘till you see how they aim!” Rand said with oiliness.

Rose stopped in mid laughter, almost as if by a switch, looked at Rand blankly, and then broke into even louder, more grating laughter.  Rand rolled her eyes, shook her head, and reached for the specially padded, smooth, shapeless undergarments that were worn under the jumpsuits.  Her nerves rattled under Rose’s uncontrollable chuckles and snorts while she stepped into her underpants, making the simple act of dressing feel more like a session of Chinese water torture.  As Rose’s laughter subsided, much to Rand’s relief, Rand suddenly had the distinct feeling that there were eyes glued on her.  She turned to Rose, expectantly.

“Is there a problem?”

“Oh, no.  It’s just that your figure reminds me so much of Christine’s.  Long lines and curves.”

Rand stopped in the mist of changing, clearly insulted by this dubious comparison.

“Why the hell would you say something like that to me?” she asked, incredulous.

“Well, uh, I’m not saying they’re the exact same…”

“Exactly, because they’re not!”

“…but they fall into the same type.  So tall, slender, curvy.  You know?”

Rand continued to change, reaching for her jumpsuit and stepping into the pant legs.

“Whatever,” she said with disgust.

She had seen Chapel naked once, in the women’s steam room, where she had, in the middle of her “all about moi” chats, undraped her towel and tossed it aside in her inimitable over-dramatic form, so that her adoring minion of butt-kissers could envy the physical graces that she thought she was blessed with.  Chapel’s body was nice enough, reminding one of a runway model from Earth’s consumer past.  Lots of length and sharp lines, her physique was an angular dream for designers to drape fabric over.  Elegant was the word one came up with in describing Chapel’s body. 

Aside from her height, there was nothing elegant about Rand’s body.  Slender, taunt lines gave way to soft curves that fabric tended to hug and cling to, accentuating her tiny waist, her pert little ass, her firm thighs, her full, jutting breasts.  She was proud of her body, and she loved the fact that Khobran loved it too. 

Rand recalled the time when they were in her quarters, and she had just removed the last stitch of clothing on her body.  She stood naked in front of Khobran, her lips parted as she piled her hair on her head and lowered her gaze directly at him.  He sat on the edge of the bed, fully clothed.  His eyes swept over her every inch, savoring her body.  Rand smiled, remembering Khobran pulling her towards him and bracing her between his knees while he explored her brazenly, thoroughly.  Almost to the brink of orgasm, Rand reached down and tugged the waist of his pants, revealing his erect member, already glistening at the tip.  Every fiber in her body pulsated when her lover picked her up effortlessly by her hips, placed his hands between her thighs, gently pushed them open, and lowered her onto him, making her gasp at that first shot of probing, moist, exquisite pain. 

Then, the memories started to fade, to change, to refocus to the last time they were together in her quarters.  She could see the argument, how angry Khobran was, how hurt.  The tears brimming in his eyes, and then his coolness, his withdrawal.

“Is everything all right?  You seem far away.”


“Wanna talk about it?”

Rand looked sharply at Rose.  What was it about Chapel and her nosy horde that they were able to sniff out just the right moments to interrupt her thoughts.

“No, I don’t,” Rand said flatly.

By now, the two women were fully clothed and equipped for their mission on Tijus.

“Oh, come on! I can be a good listener,” said Rose, leaning into Rand’s side and giving her a little nudge.  Rand shook her head and snorted, not even bothering to give Rose a second glance.

“Good listening is usually a prerequisite for good gossip,” she said with pronounced sarcasm. 

And with that, Rand picked up her clothes, hair pins, and boots, walked over to one of the lockers, placed her stuff in one of the slots, and locked them safely in.  Standing with her back to Rose, Rand brushed and gathered her hair into a low-riding ponytail, walked back to the table, threw her brush in her duffle, zipped it closed, slung it over her shoulder, went over to the mechanism that operated the door, punched it open, and walked out of the changing room without looking back, or saying another word.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Tis Charity to Show Chapter II Part 1

Tis Charity to Show
Chapter II
Part 1

Rand hurried down the ship’s corridors, turning her head on either side of her, watching for him, straining to see if she’d find him among the passing bodies walking by.  She wanted another chance to talk to him, to make him understand that he had jumped to conclusions about their relationship.  Rand was on edge, preoccupied, her nerves raw and prickly as she looked up and down the corridors, chanting please please please Khobran let me find you!  Before she knew it she was in front of the double doors to the conference room, effectively putting her fruitless search for Khobran to an end. Rand sighed heavily and allowed herself one last look around the halls.  No dice. 

She finally gave up, entering the conference room, where she found the rest of the landing party hanging out, waiting for word on what their mission would be.  No one was sitting down at the conference table; some crewmembers were leaning on the table’s edge, others simply stood around looking at their feet, the walls, not really looking at one another.  The landing party seemed preoccupied, as if being called for this mission had interrupted something big going on in their lives. 

“Join the club,” Rand thought to herself.

She quietly walked over to the wall and leaned against it, surveying the people who’d accompany her on the planet Tijus.

Scotty smiled at Rand when their eyes met, and she waved at him, returning his smile.  She was happy to see that he was included in this search party.  Besides being an all-around great guy, Scotty had proven to be a lifesaver, quite literally, on many past missions.  Khobran had told her, on several occasions, that Scotty served as a kind of mentor to him, a kind of father figure during the time of his own father’s absence.  They’ve grown pretty close, and while the thought of that warmed her, it also made her lonely, for while Scotty still had a friendship with the man she loved, she had a distance from him now that was of her own thoughtless making.  Rand felt the tears coming on, but forced them down with a tight-lipped smile as she turned her attention to Kevin Riley.

Riley gave Rand one of his endearing, crooked smiles and wriggled his brows comically.  Rand laughed, her mood forgivingly lifted.  Kevin Riley was the ship’s resident clown, and an outrageous, though good- natured flirt.  She’s always considered him, along with Nyota and Hikaro, a good friend.

Rand’s attention turned to Dr. Mathias Begay, who was leaning against the table’s edge.  The young doctor looked briefly up at Rand, acknowledged her with a nod, and then returned his gaze to his feet.  Rand didn’t know Dr. Begay very well, and had only talked to him in passing, but he seemed to be a nice enough guy.  Rand had a wicked thought just at that moment, as her mind’s eyes presented an image of her raising her arms and shouting to the heavens: “Thank God he ain’t Dr. McCoy!”  She chuckled, tickled and relieved until she turned her attention to the last member of the landing party.

Her relief was popped and deflated when she spotted Nurse Hyacinth Rose leaning against the edge of the table next to Dr. Begay, biting her nails and scrutinizing the damage.  Rand rolled her eyes and groaned.

“Look at this idiot!  When she’s away from a cafeteria, she makes a meal out of her nails.  She probably sees the dirt between her nails as a side dish,” Rand thought, disgusted.

Rand clearly understood that every doctor needed their nurse, but why, of all people, did they have to select a member of Chapel’s catty gossip brigade?  Rand took a good look at Nurse Rose.

“Well, she was certainly made to be a follower with her non-descript self,” Rand thought.

Having Rose on the mission could prove to be a miserable prospect.  Just then, Nurse Rose looked up at Rand and started to say something.  Rand abruptly turned away, mercifully avoiding eye contact, putting an end to any meandering, immature chit chat before it had a chance to even begin.

Just then, Rand heard the double doors zip open.  Captain Kirk entered the conference room with First Officer Spock close behind him. 

“Everyone’s here.  Good.  Let’s get started, please.” 

The landing party gathered around the long round table and took their places as they pulled out chairs to sit around the captain.  Kirk sat at the head of the table while Spock sat at his right.  Rand sat across from Spock, to the captain’s left.  Placing her equipment on the table, she turned on her recorder and positioned it in voice range of Kirk, situated her padd in front of her and poised her pen over it. 

“Thank you all for being prompt,” said Captain Kirk.  “You’ve all been selected for a search and rescue mission on the planet Tijus.  An archeological team conducting excavations of a recently discovered ancient civilization has disappeared without a trace, literally.” 

The lights dimmed, and images of the desert planet Tijus appeared on the viewing screen, behind the captain’s chair.

“There have been previous searches with full-planet scans, but no trace of life-forms have ever been detected.”

“Excuse me sir, but exactly how many searches such as these have been conducted?” asked Riley.

“In actuality, there have been three separate searches,” said Spock.
Puzzled looks passed between the other members of the landing party.

“I don’t seem to understand, sir.  If three full-planet scans couldn’t pick up any life forms, then why exactly are we going down there?” asked Scotty.

“I agree with Mr. Scott.  It just doesn’t make any sense.  No one is down there, as obvious from the findings of these scans,” said Dr. Begay thoughtfully.

“Protocol, Dr. Begay,” said Kirk, smiling good-naturedly.  “When all other mechanical searches pick up nothing, then a search party goes in.”

Rand took down notes on her padd, its surface lit to accommodate her in the artificially-imposed darkness of the room.

Kirk continued.  “You will all conduct the search, of course, on the excavation site.  This mission will have a week’s duration, so you will be staying on the premises, in the station where the archeologists stayed.  You are to report any findings, or lack there of, to Mr. Spock, who will report back to the ship.  This is a desert planet, so you will be equipped with the proper attire.  Mr. Spock will take over from here to tell you about other things you’ll need for this mission.  Any questions?”

The captain paused, looking directly at each member of the search party. 

“Good.  Mr. Spock, it’s all yours now.”

Kirk got up from the head of the table and walked out of the conference room, while Spock got up from his own chair and sat down in the captain's place.

Friday, September 7, 2012

'Tis Charity to Show Chapter I Part 3

‘Tis Charity to Show
Chapter I
Part 3

It was early afternoon, which meant lunch break for many crewmembers on the Enterprise.  Rand sprinted into her quarters, tossed her padd on her bed and hastily removed her recorder, tossing that alongside her padd.  She went over to her dresser mirror and inspected  her hair.  Strands of platinum poked out haphazardly around her elegant twist in a discordant crown.  “Ooh, Khobran you naughty naughty boy,” she said aloud, as she turned her head, unable to find a salvageable corner.  She’d clearly have to remove every pin from her head and start all over again.  Her hair wasn’t the only thing that would need fixing.  The wetness  between her legs was surely a reminder that she’d need to change into a fresh clean pair of panties, hose, and regulation pants.  The creaminess of her lips had been a daunting distraction for her throughout her checklist runs.  During the rush of the day, Rand had tried to clean herself during a bathroom run but found it fruitless as wad after twisted wad of tissue paper had failed to stem the moistness.  It was quite difficult for her to stay focused on inventory and shortages when she had wanted nothing else but to be bent over and exposed while Khobran held her down and hotly penetrated and probed her slickness, but at least Rand would be able to fix this little problem now.  Rand pulled off her boots, tossed them in a corner by the bathroom door, and rushed in.  She turned on the water in the sink, letting it run while she removed and discarded her pants, panties and hose.  Throwing these in the hamper by the corner, she reached over and opened the cabinet where she kept all of her handmade organic soaps, picked out a bottle of chamomile-infused feminine wash and placed it on the sink counter, plucked a hemp wash cloth from the rack by the cabinet, and shut the bathroom door behind her.

Rand walked briskly over to her dresser and pulled out the bottom drawer, retrieving a fresh clean pair of pink lace thong panties, studied them and recalled the time when she performed a strip tease for Khobran wearing this very same pair.  She smiled to herself but thought better of it and tossed the panties back in the drawer, trading them in for a more utilitarian pair of high waisted, modestly cut, cotton white underpants.  Rand put these on, along with a fresh pair of sheer black hose, and clean red overpants.  Walking over to the corner where her boots lay in a heap, she picked these up and slipped them on.  Now that she was done with dressing, she could start on her cartoonishly messy hair.  She took another walk over to the dresser, grabbed her comb and brush and then proceeded to pull out the pins from her somewhat tangled hair.

“Beep, beep.”

“The computer.  Wonder if it’s Nyota calling me for a lunch date.”

 Rand headed over to her desk, turned on the computer, and sat down in front of it.  A woman appeared on the screen, her thick red hair cut in a bob that brushed to her chin, framing her high cheekbones and arched coppery brows.  She looked like a slightly altered version of Rand herself, with fuller features and bright green eyes.


“Hey, Mom!  This is a surprise. What are you doing calling me all the way from New Jersey?”

There was a slight pause as her mother brought her face closer to the screen.  “You didn’t go to work with your hair like that, did you?”

“Ma, be real!  I was just about to fix my hair when you called me, so I didn’t get around to it yet, thanks to you.”

“You looked like you fell asleep without undoing your hair, but I know that can’t be it.  How’d it get that way?”

Janice shook her head, waving her hand in front of her face.  “You don’t want to know, Ma.”

“What do you mean?”

Rand gave her mother a look.  “Never mind.”  She shifted in her chair and started to pull all the pins from her hair.  “So, how’ve you been since the last time we talked?” she asked.

“I don’t know why you don’t just cut it all off, like me and Stephanie. It makes life so much easier, believe me!”

When Rand pulled out the last of the pin, she shook out her long flaxen hair, allowing it to tumble down her back.  “I frankly never understood why you ever cut yours.  I remember seeing that picture of you back in your college days with your long fiery red hair cascading down to your waist, wearing that tight black turtleneck.  You were a real sweater girl.  Hey, do you still have that pentacle necklace?”

“Why would I?”

“I don’t know,” Rand shrugged.  “Are we just going to talk about hair all day?”

“Well, I don’t know about hair, but your term ‘sweater girl’ fits very nicely with the reason why I’m calling today,” said Mrs. Rand with a playful smirk.

“What it that supposed to mean?”

“Guess who came to visit us yesterday?”

“Who, Aunt Trish?”

No!  Why on Earth would I treat this as a mystery if it was her?”

“Well, how the hell am I supposed to know?  Can you just tell me?  I hate this guessing game stuff--you know that!”

Mrs. Rand took a beat before divulging her answer.  “Khobran’s parents,” she said.

Rand was both surprised and wary.  “Khobran’s parents!  They came to see you?  Really?”

“I know that you’ve been seeing Khobran for about a year and never told anyone back here; not me, not your father, not Stephanie, and not Aunt Trish.  No one.  It’s because he’s Orion, isn’t it.  You didn’t think we’d approve.”

Rand jerked her head back, placing her hand on her chest in a defensive manner.  “Ma!  That had nothing to do with it!  It’s just that I really want this relationship to work, and I didn’t want to jinx anything.  You remember all those jerks I’ve been with…”

“All those jerks? You’ve only been with four men since you started dating in high school.  Khobran makes five, Janice.  Only five…”

“And I want number five to work, Mom!  I wanted to see how things panned out before telling anyone back home.”

“You know we don’t care that he’s Orion, right?”

“Ma, I told you that had nothing to do with it!”

“Well, now, don’t get touchy.  I just asked you that to be sure.  It wouldn’t be fair to him, you know.  It was pretty awkward when I didn’t know who Khobran was when the mother introduced herself at my place of work, Janice.  I didn’t know who she was, and I was never told to expect her!  It’s not like Orions are commonplace in Montclair.  She seemed a little hurt, frankly.  Well, initially anyway.”

Rand sighed, feeling a leaden weight of guilt on her chest.  She had thought at the time that she was making the right decision, about taking a wait and see approach to her relationship with Khobran, but she knew now that she’d been wrong.  Rand knew she would have to right this, and talk to Khobran’s parents herself. 

“She met you at the campus library?  How did she know to go there?”

“I guess you must have told her where I worked,” Mrs. Rand said simply.

“Oh, I guess. Go on.  I’m sorry.”

“Well, Tara came over to the university library and introduced herself.  She told me that she and her husband had met you along with their children when they had seeked asylum at Adrius IV.  Come to think of it, she did recall that you mentioned where me and your father worked.  She had also said that they were being sponsored by a Dr. Grimaldi of Princeton University, the same man who had sponsored their children when they first came to Earth.  Funny, huh?  Orions in New Jersey!  That means that Khobran and Hydra were here when you were in college, isn’t that something?”

Rand smiled brightly, wondering how it would have been like to have met Khobran and Hydra back then.  “Yeah, that is something,” Rand sighed.

Mrs. Rand continued.  “Well, we went over to your father’s office and he met Tara.  Her husband Rhollo came over later after he’d been exploring the campus grounds.  After that we got your sister and her brood and went to that sweet little Ethiopian restaurant!”

“Bet they loved that place!”

“They sure did!  Oh, and they were crazy about your nieces, and loved the fact that they were biracial!  They even mused about how your’s and Khobran’s would look like!”

“Oh my God!” said Rand, blushing but wondering herself.

“I have to say, Janice, they’re an impressive family.  Talk about being achievers, and survivors!  Their children being fifteen years old wunderkinds, and homeschooled!  Amazing people, Janice. They’re the kind of people you mention soon after you meet them.”

Mrs. Rand raised her brows, tilting her head to the side and giving her daughter a look of gentle scolding.

“Yeah, I know,” Rand sighed.

“They’re thinking about moving here, you know.”

“What do you mean, moving here?”

“What do you think?  They’re thinking about moving to Montclair!”

“Montclair, seriously?!” Rand was jubilant, throwing her arms up in the air and laughing.  “Wait ‘till I tell Khobran!”

“They’d love it,especially  since the mother is an artisan.  She could sell her wares here.  You know the father is an inventor and engineer.  Had his own business until that Syndicate…but, I’m sure you know all that.”

Rand nodded in the affirmative.  “Yes, I do.”

Mrs. Rand looked at her daughter thoughtfully for a long time before she spoke again.  “You know, Janice, for Khobran to want you with him when his parents landed on that space station seeking asylum is pretty special.  He sounds special, and he sounds like he loves you very much.” 

There was a catch in Rand’s throat as she nodded silently.

“I’ll bet he’s very attractive,” said Mrs. Rand coyly.

“Oh, yes he is,” Rand said dreamily.

“Not surprising, since his parents have got to be two of the best looking beings I’ve ever seen in my life!  You should have seen the stares Tara got in the campus library!”

“You don’t get Orions on Earth, much less Montclair,” Rand quipped.

“Janice, don’t even bother to downplay here.  That woman is remarkable by Deltan standards!  And Rhollo!  My God!  I’ve never seen a man who filled out a pair of slacks like that in my life!  Apparently, neither did all those young woman who followed him around campus!”

“Same thing with Khobran and the crewwomen here! You’d think they’ve never seen an ass before!”

The two women laughed good naturedly.

“I hope you’re using protection.  You don’t want to get preg…”

“Ma!  Come on!”

“Just want to be sure.”

“Well, be sure! Me and Khobran are not planning on a family anytime soon, okay?”

“Bet he’s a firestorm in the sac, huh?”


There was a short moment of giddy silence between them, before Rand and her mother broke into robust guffaws.

“Oh, Janice!  Let me let you go.  I know you have a lot to do.  I’d hold on to Khobran, judging from his parents.  I’m very glad I we met!  I really think you need to talk to his parents to clear things up with them,” said Mrs. Rand, ending on a more serious note.

“Yeah, I know.  I’ll do that asap.  I’m so glad you met them, Mom.  Let’s talk some more about them soon, okay?  I’d love to hear what Dad thought,” said Rand, smiling radiantly.

“Of course!  Well, I’m signing off now, hon. Be good, and get that hair cut!” chided Mrs. Rand playfully.

Rand smirked and waved her hand dismissively.  “Whatever, Ma!  See ya.”


Rand reached over and turned off the switch to the computer, got up from the swivel chair at her desk, and headed for the dresser.  Placing her hair pins in the bowl, she took her brush and swept through her hair.  Rand smiled as she recalled the conversations with her mother.
Everyone clearly got along famously, the two families.  In her past relationships, there had always been a chink in the dynamics concerning the family of anyone she’d been involved with.  Sometimes she didn’t get along with one of the boyfriend’s parents, or one of his siblings.  In her last relationship with a Starfleet instructor, she never even met his family.  Though, considering that such relationships were off limits at the Academy, that was understandable!  Her intuition vibrated with a quiet excitement that told her all was good for this relationship.  She would be sure to make contact with her family, so that they could finally meet Khobran, via computer screen, for themselves.  Perhaps she could contact Hydra and make it a three-way conference call.  She was glad that the relationship was out in the open now, especially since it’s proven to be the best relationship-more than she’s hoped for, in fact!  Rand pictured Khobran’s parents moving to Montclair and becoming neighbors with her family, and the thought of that tickled her. 

“Montclair could use some Orion residents,” she thought to herself. 

When she finished brushing through her hair, Rand did it up in a French twist again, humming along while she shaped, twisted, and pinned her head in place.  Patting every inch of her do, Rand looked in the mirror, turned her head for inspection, and gave herself the thumbs up when the chime to her door summoned her.  Wondering who in the hell it could be, Rand walked over to the door and pressed its side button.  When the door zipped open, Rand’s mood brightened tenfold when she saw Khobran standing silently in the hallway.

“Khobran!” she exclaimed, rushing up to him.  Rand reached out and threw her arms around his neck and planted a long hot kiss on his lips, which he returned tepidly.  Rand, in her enthusiasm, didn’t notice. She also seemed oblivious to the fact that Khobran never wrapped his arms around her.

“God, I can’t  believe you’re here!  Talk about kismet!  Wait ‘till I tell you what went on with me!  But you’ll have to be gentle though, after that fierce pat-down you gave me in the diliteum crystal chamber.  It’s a lot of hair to pin up again for a third time,” she said, patting her hair and batting her lashes.  Rand looked up at her boyfriend and noticed the grim expression etched in his face. 

“Is anything wrong?  Did something happen?”

Khobran broke free of Rand’s embrace and stepped inside her quarters, where he turned to face her.  Rand stepped into her quarters like she was walking on shards of glass.  She looked warily at Khobran.  She had an inkling of what might be troubling him, and she felt her stomach fist up.  Oh, shit! He knows.  Khobran stood in his place, just looking at Rand, not saying anything.  His silence was palpable, and it made Rand edgy.  But what made Rand really edgy was that she was the cause of the misunderstanding to come.  Khobran placed his hands on his hips and lowered his head.  When he finally raised his head up again his eyes were brimming with tears.  Rand hated herself at that moment.  She felt her own eyes start to sting and become misty.

“I just got off the computer with my parents, and they told me that they finally met your family in Montclair, but that you never told your them about our relationship.  They didn’t even know I existed, that my family existed.”  Khobran’s voice was soft with hurt, almost trembling.  Rand raised her hands to her face and laced her fingers together, pressing her palms together, almost like a prayer position.  She took a very deep breath so that her own voice wouldn’t shake.

“Khobran, I know.  Let me explain…”

“Explain what, Janice?” he asked in the same pained voice, the same soft pitch.  “My mother said she was surprised when she found out the Rands knew nothing about me, my parents, my sister, my brother…”

Rand felt the panic build inside her as she tried to explain her side of the story.  At first, she had a hard time stringing the words together, as Khobran stood there looking at her from his great height, his brows cocked in judgment.

“Look,” Rand began.  “You know the lousy luck I’ve had with guys.  All four men from high school to Starfleet Academy ended badly!  I told you that…”


“I wanted to wait and see how this relationship went before I told my family about us!  I-I didn’t want to jinx anything, you know?  I know it sounds silly…”

“Silly?  It sounds downright suspicious, Janice,” he said, his voice now steely and low, his vivid violet eyes unwavering as they bore right into her.  Rand could feel the crushing weight of his eyes on her, and they made her feel exposed, like she was lying spread eagled under the cold aim of a microscopic lens.  She wanted to run away, but she knew that wasn’t an option.  She thought desperately about what she could do to fix the mess that she’d made.  Then, Rand came up with an idea.  She looked at Khobran, feigning nonchalance, and simply shrugged her shoulders.

“Look, Khobran.  I really don’t see the big deal.  My mother had a wonderful time with your parents.  My father, sister, her husband and their two daughters were all there at the outing.  Everyone got along really well, so I don’t know why not telling my family about you initially is such a big deal.  Your parents are…”

“Oh, I’ll tell you why it’s such a big deal, Janice!  I’ll tell you why it’s an immense deal…”

“You’re making a mountain out of an ant hill, Khobran,” she said in blithe disregard, though her insides wanted to scream. “I really don’t understand this drama…”

“The drama is you had a whole fucking year,” said Khobran, leaning into Rand, his voice now rising.  “How long are you going to use your past relationships as an excuse, Janice?”

Rand’s head jerked back when she heard the word ‘excuse.”  “It’s not an excuse, Khobran!”

“Oh, no?  When I introduced you to my parents, I was never once concerned about the fact that you were human!  You were the woman that I chose as a partner, you were the woman I cared about and desired!  Our different racial backgrounds were immaterial!”

Rand looked at Khobran for a full withering minute, shaking her head, her eyes wide and her tears coming to the fore.  She took her time, finding the voice that seemed to have escaped her at that moment.

“Are you trying to say, that I didn’t tell my family about you because you think that I’m the one who has a problem with you being Orion, as opposed to my family?!” Her voice was a horse whisper.

Khobran leaned in even closer until he was nose to nose with Rand.

“Jackpot,” he said quietly.

The tears tumbled down to her cheeks, her lips trembling.  Rand turned away from her lover and pressed her hands against her chest, as if to steady herself.  She closed her eyes, not believing what she’d just heard, what he was accusing her of.  She wanted to push Khobran, to throw something at him as she stood there trembling with rage, shock, and heartbreak.

“Restrain yourself, Janice,” she thought to herself.  “You don’t want to hit this man!  You don’t want to hit this man!”  Then, she thought better of it.  “What the hell,” she thought smugly.  Rand spun on her heels suddenly and slapped Khobran clean across his face with her open palm.  While Khobran barely moved physically from the impact, the expression on his face clearly showed that he was stunned. 

Rand was crying now.  “How dare you!  How dare you say that to me!  How dare you even think that, you bastard!”

The surprise that was on Khobran’s face was replaced by it’s former steeliness.  “The truth hurts, right?”

“There’s no truth to what you’re saying and you know that!” she screamed.  “You being an Orion was never an issue with me!  It sure seems to be an issue with you, though!”

Khobaran crossed his arms, saying nothing. He simply looked at her while Rand continued to fight for their relationship.

“What about all the times we’ve been together, don’t they mean anything to you?!  Doesn’t our time together say anything about our relationship?!”

“Yeah, it says that an Orion is no problem in the bedroom, but poses a real problem when it comes time to tell Mommy and Daddy that you’re fucking one,” he sneered.

Rand reached out and pulled Khobran by his shirt and tried to shake him, as if doing so would make the words sink in.  “For your information, my mother had no problem with you being Orion!  As a matter of fact, she was concerned about me not telling her about you because of what she thought might have been prejudice on my part, of which I assured her it was not…”

“Perceptive mother, at least.”

“Khobran, are we really doing this?  Really?”  Rand asked, emotionally exhausted.

The two of them looked at one another for a long tense moment before Khobran gave Rand a hopeless, sad look.  “Well, so much for the liberals in Montclair.” Then, without another word, he turned away from Rand and walked out the door to her quarters.


Rand started after him, reaching out for him, trying to grab at any part of his body, an arm, the hem of his shirt, but he was too fast for her, and it was also at this inopportune moment when Rand heard something behind her.

“Beep, beep.”

She turned sharply towards the direction of the noise and glared at the computer, her eyes blinded by her tears.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!  Why now?!” she yelled out loud at the little red light blinking dispassionately on the computer console. 

In a panic, she turned to the door, and then back to the computer, initially torn between the two.  It could be the captain, but then, it could be Uhura, or Sulu.  She would be really pissed if it was anyone in the latter category, but if it was the captain or anyone else of high rank, then of course her duty would have to come before her heart.  Shaken and annoyed, Rand wiped the tears from her face and eyes with her fingers as she cursed under her breath.  Defeated, she headed for her desk, turned on the computer, and settled in front of the screen while it lit up in front of her.  Duty was calling, in the image of Captain Kirk.

“Yeoman Rand,” he said, peering closely into the screen.  “Am I interrupting anything?”

“Nothing that’s any of your damn business,” she thought bitterly.  But when she spoke to the captain, however, she said simply: “No, Captain.  Busy day.”  Rand gave Kirk a weak smile, trying to keep a good front.

“You look preoccupied and tired, Janice.”

“I’m fine, Captain.  What is this call about?”

The Captain nodded.  “You’ve been selected to join a search and rescue landing party on the planet Tijus.  You are to report to the conference room immediately.  Yeoman Means will take over your checklist duties.”

“Yes, sir.”

“See you soon.”

Kirk’s image went black, ending the correspondence as Rand let out a long deep breath. She turned off the computer and got up from her chair. She murmured Khobran’s name despondently and reached for her padd and recorder that lay tossed on her bed.  Rand strapped the recorder over her shoulder, gathered her padd, looked around her quarters for a last quick sweep, and left.