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Randall Landers

December 10th 2295

"Captain, I must speak with you."

Chekov turned slowly around in the center seat to face his first officer. "Yes, Saavik?" The look on her face was clear. "In my ready room, then."

He followed her up the stairs and followed the Vulcan-Romulan into his ready room. He selected a coffee from his food dispensing unit. "Water, Saavik?" he asked, and fetched her a carafe from the autochef.

"Yes, thank you, Fleet Cap—" He narrowed his eyes, and she changed her choice of words. "—Pavel."

"So what’s up?" he asked, taking the plush seat behind his desk as she stood before him. "Pull up a chair, Saavik."

"Thank you, sir." She pulled a chair from the wall and took a seat. "I regret having felt the necessity for this impromptu meeting, sir, but I consider this a matter of some importance."

"Continue," he prompted, an expression of genuine concern on his face.

"Sir, there’s been some discussion of Mister Ch’terr’s return to the head of Security."

"Please tell me he’s not still playing with that Peg Leg Pete doll on his shoulder." He took a deep sip of his coffee. "That’s not what we need right now, especially with that outrageous ‘arrrr, me matey’ he was spouting every ten minutes."

"Fortunately, no, sir. He’s been running drills in his department for efficiency since we left Serenidad."

"Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I’ve noted Chief Engineer Sorensen doing the same thing with her department. We are, after all, about to head into the Beta Quadrant. We’ll be in Earth orbit tomorrow to drop Doctor McCoy and his wife off, and then depart immediately to the limits of known space. Our flight to Starbase 211 will take about a week, and after that, we’re heading into the deep unknown."

"Agreed, sir, but his drills have been somewhat...unorthodox."

Chekov sighed. And sighed again. "Okay, Saavik, what’s he up to this time?"

"He’s made the exercises into some sort show."

"Oy vey." He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Which one? Who Wants to Marry a Gelgamek?"

"Nothing so innocuous. It’s some sort of competition between the six security squads. The object seems to be survival, but the methodology is illogical. Did you know he locked them in the arboretum in their underwear with paintball guns, each with two shots. He declared the team with the most survivors would be declared the winner. The losers were required to clean the arboretum after the event."

"Sounds like fun. Which squad won?"

"After a protracted battle of thirty minutes, it seemed as if Squad Three had won the event—"

Chekov chuckled. "Hannah Quinessen’s team."

"—because they had the most survivors with four."


"He declared them all losers of the contest. He said that they should have simply—"

"Mediated a truce?"

She frowned. "How did you know?"

"Just a reasonable guess. It’s a reflection of Ch’terr’s personality, Saavik. And quite probably mine as well. I’d’ve parleyed with the squad leaders and convinced them that it would be in our best interests to all come out as winners with our complete squad intact."

She stared at him with a raised eyebrow.

"Let me guess what you’d do," he chuckled as he finished off his coffee. "You’d’ve arranged for the peace conference between the squad leaders, and then had your squad take them out in the middle of negotiating the cease fire."

The look on her face was one of complete surprise. "I don’t understand, Cap—Pavel, how did you know?"

"You’re half-Romulan, Saavik, and often you think like one."

She narrowed her eyes in total disapproval. "I find your statement unworthy of refutation, Fleet Captain Chekov. At best it is stereotypical, and at worst it is racist."

"Is it in error? Be honest with yourself and with me, Saavik."

After a moment’s consideration, she muttered, "Damn you."

Chekov laughed. "And Saavik, I’d also wager that Hannah did the same thing."

"I shall ask her...after they finish cleaning the arboretum."

"One more thing, Saavik?"


"Tell Ch’terr next time he wants to play, take it to one of the cargo bays or hangar decks. If I find he’s damaged my garden, there will be hell to pay."

She smiled, inclining her head slightly. "I shall pass that along, sir."

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