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Let Me Out of My Cage

Posted on 24 Jan 2020 @ 11:43pm by Ensign Kelly Khan & Lieutenant Commander Tivan

Mission: Epilogue
Location: Recreation
Timeline: December 15, 2389

"I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine in a bag
I'm useless but not for long
The future is coming on!"

A young female voice sang from the back of the recreation center while a crowd of other Ensigns and enlisted joined in with the boisterous song.

It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on!

Sitting at a corner table all by her lonesome was Tivan. Live music was a rarity that she seldom missed when possible. Even if it wasn't particularly palatable, she still enjoyed the real presence and energy that recorded media lacked. This wasn't one of those times, though. The young lady leading the crowd sang like an angel. Her voice harmonized with the melody, drawing out the nuances of the musical notes in a way that Tivan felt deep inside. Before she knew it, Tivan was on her feet and swaying to the music. Her hands and hips rolled in tight arcs while her knees and head bobbed and dipped in time to the beat.

A Tellarite Petty Officer began to beatbox the rhythmic cadence of the song once he was handed a PADD with the beat and a Betazoid picked up the chorus and high points.

"Yeah, ha-ha
Finally, someone let me out of my cage
Now time for me is nothing 'cause I'm counting no age
Now I couldn't be there
Now you shouldn't be scared
I'm good at repairs
And I'm under each snare
" Kelly continued as she watched the Vulcan woman dance.

With the change in rhythm, Tivan slowed her movements a bit and raised her hands in the air. She locked eyes with the brunette with the microphone and let out a whoop. The excitement of the moment drew her hands up and down in the air to keep time with the beat.

Kelly gave the Vulcan a wink as she continued. "Intangible, bet you didn't think, so I command you to
Panoramic view, look, I'll make it all manageable
Pick and choose, sit and lose, all you different crews
Chicks and dudes, who you think is really kickin' tunes?

The sudden attention from the singer halted Tivan's groove, bringing forth her analytical mind to assess the demonstrative young ensign. Despite the extroversion that led to her serenading the entire lounge with a folk song from Earth's sordid antiquity, there was a subdued melancholic introvert hidden in those eyes. But which was the dominant temperament and which the shadow? Further study was necessary.

Picture you getting down in a picture tube
Like you lit the fuse, you think it's fictional?
Mystical? Maybe, spiritual hero
Who appears in you to clear your view when you're too crazy?

Interesting subtext, indeed. What with the special attention she'd received, Tivan was tempted to take it personally. But that would be premature. Eyes closed, Tivan slowly let her katra sink back into the musical beat and rhythm, but this time was opened her mind to any nuances that might be expressed.

Regardless of what Tivan may or may not have thinking, all Kelly wanted to do was sing and bring people together a bit more after The Zone and all that had happened there. "Lifeless to those, the definition for what life is
Priceless to you, because I put you on the hype shit
You like it? Gun smokin', righteous with one toke
Get psychic among those, possess you with one dose.

It was a bizarre song, but the personal expression was heartfelt. Tivan began lightly bobbing her head as she began getting carried away again. This time, however, she was hearing the rhythm of the heart rather than the syncopated beat.

I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on

The Betazoid joined in with the echoes "It's coming on, it's coming on
It's coming on, it's coming on..."

Tivan let out another whoop and began to applaud. If nothing else, it had been a lively performance.

Kelly looked over as the Vulcan...whooped...and then applauded. After dancing. This wasn't a Vulcan. This was a Romulan in very poor disguise. Yet, she was on the ship, so she was an exchange officer, or Command had eaten several bowls of stupid and ignored the psychological profiles of Romulans and accepted forged documentation. She shared a laugh with her singing compatriots, then glanced back at the woman to see if she were still there.

Seeing that the hard eye contact she'd made with Kelly wasn't going away anytime soon, Tivan gave her a friendly wave.

"Evenin' or top of the Beta to you," The Ensign gave an informal greeting. Beta shift was starting and she had several hours to go before bed and a start at Alpha. If the new Chief of Flight preferred her on Alpha. She'd earned her lumps several times over and if some new upstart wanted to shove her back to Gamma, she'd have a few choice things to say about it. She turned her mind back to the Vul - Romulan - to see how she'd react.

"Greetings," Tivan said by way of reply. "Nice song. You have a beautiful voice." Letting the compliment linger for just an instant, she then added, "And a passionate soul. It really came through in your performance. Do you sing often in public?"

"Thanks," Kelly said with a smile that went to her hazel eyes. "I do when the mood strikes me. Do you do things as the mood strikes you?" she asked.

"You could say so," Tivan replied, mirroring Kelly's smile though her eyes were probing and measuring. "A human sage once said, 'Moderation in all things,' a platitude that I could not have phrased better myself. Being new to the ship, I've had my work cut out for me. Cutting loose to a lively performance of a catchy song felt like the right thing to do."

"Moderation is for those without an adventurous spirit," the petite pilot said with a flickering smile as she unconsciously raised a hand and gave the tarnished pip on her shirt collar - an unusual place for one when not in uniform - a brush.

Tivan chuckled at that. "Spoken like someone who has never truly reached their limits. Moderating behavior guarantees leisure and personal fulfillment regardless of the demands made by duty and obligation." Noting the unconscious gesture, Tivan asked, "So what adventures have you had, Ensign?"

"I've been with the Black Hawk since a few months before the original crash landed on New Bajor and everything up to the Dolmoqour, so about...a year and some months. I came to the ship for my senior tour," Kelly said as she rubbed HG again. "Then there was a wild series of events that threw us everywhere in time, to an alternate universe and back - that was fun, let me know you. You haven't lived until you've commanded a busted Intrepid into battle against a Romulan Valdore while they're trying to turn you to dust with a Thalaron cannon. Good times. Good times."

"I confess that I don't know what all of that is," Tivan said with a chuckle, "but I can see you're very passionate about it. Are you on the command track, then, or was that a lucky strike?"

"Passionate about it?" Kelly asked in near disbelief. "When we got blown to the alternate universe, I hit my head so hard that I started to follow a white rabbit down the turbolift shaft. Oh, I'm Command track all the way." She paused. "Anyhoo, a lot went on in the alternate universe - the Captain was hunted, stuff like that, and we had to scuttle the ship I was in command of because we didn't want the aliens getting Federation technology."

"We were on the way back to the ship - me in a borrowed Command uniform since my Cadet uniform had gotten trashed and all of a sudden, he starts talking about me being out of uniform." the brunette continued after taking a drink of uttaberry juice which stained her lips blue. "I'm starting to object and promising to change once I get back to the ship...and he removes a pip from his own collar and promoted me on the spot."

Tivan smiled at the ensign's enthused telling of the event. "Captain Geisler is quite a man. It sounds like your first meeting with him was far more exciting, and perhaps less tawdry, than my own." Her mouth pursed in amusement upon recollection. "There wasn't any alternate universes, though I wonder if Harvey wouldn't have preferred one instead of what did happen."

Kelly looked at the woman sideways. "It's highly inappropriate to be addressing the Captain by his first name," she told the Romulan in disguise. "Besides, that wasn't my first time meeting him. Every mission on this ship is an adventure and the crew is tighter because of it. We don't appreciate interlopers."

"Such as the Dolmoqour," Tivan ventured.

"I suggest that you go look up what interloper means," the Ensign told her before taking another sip of her juice. "You might sound smart."

Tivan chuckled. "So the Dolmoqour did not interlope? They were welcomed with open arms and given consensual place among the crew? You are perhaps the first to suggest so."

"Computer, define interloper," Kelly requested.

"An interloper a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong." the computer stated.

"There you go," she said as if it couldn't be plainer. "Not invader or boarder. In-ter-lop-er."

"I commend you on the expert use of a dictionary," Tivan said, eyes sparkling mischievously. "Perhaps Harvey should gift you with a thesaurus. It would serve you well in your promising career in command." The smile she gave might have been cordial had it not been also condescending. She gave Kelly a parting pat on the shoulder. "It was... interesting to have made your acquaintance, Ensign."

Kelly dropped her shoulder to avoid the pat and gave the woman a sneer. "Perhaps the Captain can arrange to give you lessons on how to be a decent being," she said. "Or go back to where you came from and stay there."

Leaning toward Kelly's shoulder, Tivan whispered, "Wherever you go, there you are." She walked away with a bemused chuckle.

"With any luck, you won't be there," The Ensign said before she turned back to her compatriots as the Romulan walked away. "Some people..."

Once outside in the corridor, Tivan paused a moment.

"Computer, access Chief Counselor's Log, Patient File Kappa-Two-One, Authorization: Tivan-Gamma-Upsilon-Nu-Tau."

The computer warbled in compliance. "Authorization accepted. Access granted."

Tivan rolled her tongue behind her lips before saying, "Flag potential BPD and xenophobic tendencies."

"Data input and saved to record," the computer said after it trilled its completed process.

"That is all."


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