June 12th 2295To be fair, Saavik was not singling out Peter Kirk. Ever since the "Rathan" incident, all replacement crew fell under deep scrutiny, not just hers, but Security Chief Chterrs as well. Each of them received the equivalent of early reviews, albeit in the form of asking around for oddities from fellow crewmembers.
So far, only one potentially negative thread had emerged, and it was, as yet, far from being of concern to her. Given the attitudes of some Humans toward their work, she was hard-pressed by her own standards to truly classify it as a negative.
Lieutenant Roberta Vasquez, Chief Science Officer of the Enterprise-B, nodded as she was asked. "Well, Im glad to have him. Someone who knows both the regs and the routine is just who I want my department run by when Im off duty. Still, there are times when he seems to work extra hard, almost as if hes living under a microscanner with someone watching him. When he loses that, hell really hit his stride."
The third shift science officer, Ensign Natalie "Bucky" Buchanan, responded in kind. "Ive seen him crack the whip, and Ive seen him help out those who need it most. But does he ever crack the whip on himself! Must be an effort to live up to Captain Kirks memoryor something."
When Hydrologist Walt Andrews was asked, he looked outright flabbergasted. "Is he under review? Because Id really hate to work with somebody else. Usually, assistant department heads are jackasses, in my opinion. But he never once lets up on himself. You can see it."
For good measure, Saavik checked with the chief security officer. The Skorr flapped his wings, and his algae conveyed his disbelief with a green tint to his normally golden yellow feathers. "Lllieutenant Kirk? Ive rarely seen non-security personnelll tripllle check their stations. But he might consider pulllling in his wingspan, sometimes, or he might burn out. Stillll, if I once had my wings clllipped, Id want to show everyone I could stillll use them."
Satisfied, she drafted her report on Lieutenant Kirk and submitted it to Captain Chekov at shifts end.
Saavik sat in the arboretum, wearing her favorite koma, a short, white, long-sleeved, Vulcan tunic she wore whenever off-duty. She had been coming here for months, ever since releasing David Marcus katra. She found meditation came easier to her here, on the bench nearest the waterfall.
Suddenly, a voice interrupted the white noise of the falls. "Lieutenant Commander Saavik, please report to my office," Captain Chekov ordered.
Saavik blinked in surprise, and responded, speaking up toward the ceiling microphones. "Certainly, Captain. On my way. Saavik out."
The stroll through the corridors was surprisingly brief. She encountered no personnel and didnt even have to wait for the turbolift to arrive. She arrived on the bridge less than three minutes after receiving her orders. Coming from the port turbolift, she quickly walked to the rear of the bridge and went through the access way to the captains office. Taking a breath to suppress her Romulan-born emotions, she pressed the door chime.
Saavik stepped into the office and surveyed it. Chekov was seated on his sofa, the huge bay windows overlooking the impulse engine deck and warp engines behind him. She snapped to attention. "Lieutenant Commander Saavik, reporting as ordered, sir."
"How many times have I asked you not to do that?" the captain asked.
"Consider this an order, then, Commander: When its just you and me in here like this, you are not to announce yourself in such a formal manner."
He raised an eyebrow at her, cutting her reply off.
"Yes, Pavel," she corrected herself. She found his predilection for informality in off-duty situations most illogical. When she had asked Ambassador Spock for his opinion, the Vulcan, who was still and would continue to be aboard the Enterprise-B for some time to come, had suggested she accept the honor being bestowed upon her, just as he had accepted the same offer from Captain James T. Kirk, not once, but twice.
The captain smiled reassuringly at her. "Saavik, I just read your reports."
She saw that his face was slightly flushed, though the captain did not seem angry. "Did you find something objectionable in them, sir?"
Chekov shrugged. He was not angry, but amused? Human humor was still a difficult concept in many ways, she knew as she accepted the datapadd from her captain.
"Saavikcultural differences and nuances are understandable. But I feel you should review this file Ive obtained on the persistent influence that Doctor Sigmund Freud has had on Human speech and wording. Despite the discrediting of many of his ideas, they remain a cultural influence."
She looked it over, quite puzzled. "Sirwhat is this in reference to?"
He looked at her reports. "Saavik, did you mean to say that Lieutenant Peter Kirk often works too hard to make up for certain aspects of his past?"
She nodded, now a bit annoyed as well as puzzled. "Sir, that is exactly what I said in my report. I fail to see the problem. In fact, I noted that this observation raises my opinion of Lieutenant Kirk. It is better by far to work too hard than not hard enough."
Chekov sighed. "It is not the opinion, Saavik, that concerns me. It is your wording."
"Please explain, sir."
Chekov was turning red once again. "You did not say precisely that Peters coworkers say he works too hard in an effort to counter the effects of his past. Please read what you said, then review the Freud filein private."
Now almost visibly upset, she re-read the highlighted words. "While I disagree, those close to Peter Kirk have observed that, regarding his past problems, he engages in a rather predictable pattern of overcompensation."
When she did not seem to understand even the most basic whys and wherefores of her innocent error, Chekov sighed and went the rest of the way. "Saavik, words can have many meanings in Terran vernacular, as you know. Overcompensation is very often used to somewhat describe humanoid males who are neurotic about the...lack of proportion...of their...most visible male attribute."
Chekov burst out laughing. "No, Saavik. Perhaps, I should have said least visible male attribute."
For the first time since Chekov had known her, Saaviks eyes went as wide as saucers. "Aunt Roberta!"
"Sir, when I was a child, Aunt Roberta would often laugh and call a certain distasteful neighbor a classic overcompensator. He was always adding on to his dwelling, purchasing new hovercars, going on exotic vacations. But she always held off telling me what she meant by that phrase, and I had never bothered to research it. Captain, I assure you that I had no desire to" She froze and tried again. "I mean, I did not wish to infer knowledge about Lieutenant Kirk that I do not have. At all."
Chekov waved her concern off. "Its hardly your fault, Saavik. Its not even really a concern. But I merely thought that I should cut this offend this, here and now. Review the Freudian glossary database, and maybe youll catch yourself on some other like reference. Dismissed."
Utterly horrified at her faux pas, Saavik left the captains office as quickly as decorum would allow. She hoped her ears werent tinged as green as she feared they might be.
Sometime later, when Saavik took the second watch on the bridge, she was still reviewing the eye-opening datapadd when Lieutenant Peter Kirk walked up with several reports. Saavik was almost, but not quite, used to the fact that the lieutenants face contained more than a little of one that she greatly admired, and another that she had loved. That many times he seemed like David Marcus, alive again and yet now mature was another off-putting concern. For now, though, her written faux pas was the factor that ate at her the most.
He smiled at her. "Commander, these are the listings for scanned anomalies in the several sectors ahead of us. Review them at your leisure."
Saavik approved. "Both ahead of schedule and apparently quite thorough. Your work is quite adequate, Lieutenant."
When the Human looked surprised at this compliment, almost gushing by Vulcan standards, Saavik almost bit down. He then took note of her datapadd. "Freud? Oops. Sorry to be so nosy, Commander."
She shrugged in typical Vulcan indifference. "I am merely clearing up a reference that an acquaintance once made. It is fascinating reading."
Peter Kirk shook his head. "Maybe as a cultural reference. But to me, its always seemed like a journey into the mind of a little boy. The man was absolutely obsessed with sex."
Saavik wondered precisely what cosmic force she had offended, to be in this position. "I had taken note of such a predisposition. Yet perhaps he was merely more honest about this obsession than some Humans."
He chuckled a cursedly familiar chuckle. "Maybe. You know, actually, if I recall correctly, even Freud himself grew tired with people finding symbolism in all things."
Now, Saavik was truly curious. "Indeed? That is a historical trend. Very often, the founders of a movement will decry the path their latter-day followers take as being more than somewhat misinterpretive of their intentions."
The lieutenant nodded. "Freud was getting on in years. One day, a friend watched him lighting a cigar. The friend asked if that could be taken as a phallic symbol."
Wonderful, thought Saavik. "What was Freuds response?"
Peter began to walk away as he spoke. "He stopped smoking, looked at his friend, and merely said, Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar. It was his way of telling us not to get lost in all the possibilities of words and their potential meanings. Anything else, Commander?"
Feeling a great deal more relaxed, Saavik shook her head. "No, Lieutenant. You are dismissed."
As he left, Saavik surprised herself by what she muttered next. "Yet there are always...possibilities."
Walking down the corridor toward the ships forward recreation room, Lieutenant Kirk encountered Captain Chekov. "Ah, Peter, I understand that those anomaly reports are done and filed?"
"Aye, sir. I filed them with Commander Saavik during the second watch."
"Very good, Lieutenant." Chekov started to walk toward his quarters, but Kirk had another question..
"Captain, begging your pardon, sir, but, well, Ive noticed Commander Saavik has been asking about me. Does she object at all to my presence?"
Chekov turned and guided Kirk into an empty sub-corridor Jefferies junction. "Peter, since the incident with Rathans imposter, ship board security has been under double scrutiny, both from Security Chief Chterr and from Chief Tactical Officer Saavik. Ive had her conducting reviews of all new personnel."
"Is she concerned about me?"
The captain smiled reassuringly. "Before you came aboard, she had some concern given your record of nearly ten years ago. However, she has not expressed one sinceand she would have, trust me, had she any. She has reported your work is quite adequate." The captain laughed.
Kirk shrugged. His next words would stay with Chekov for a time. "Maybe its just me. I mean, she knew Jim, who was the better officer. She knew David Marcus, who was the better scientist. Maybe, in her eyesIm just the family member thatcomes up short."
The captain laughed all the way to his quarters leaving a puzzled Kirk in his wake.
Free counters provided by Andale.
Return to the index of ORION ARCHIVES --
2294-2323 Chekov's Enterprise.
Return to the index of ORION ARCHIVES On-Line Fiction.
Click Here to Return to the Orion Press Website