She tossed the phaser between her scaly hands and back again, testing the grip. Clad in a science-teal training uniform, Cadet Lyrakkiton Parze slowly paced around the perimeter of the holodeck, while keeping her eyes on her prey. “I have to admit,” Parze said, “when I challenged you to a velocity game, I didn’t realise you were literally a member of the academy’s velocity team. I thought you were more of an… enthusiastic hobbyist.”
Chuckling to himself, Horin lifted his phaser up and shook it before grinning. “Sorry Parze, this is one hobbit I enjoy a lot!” Wearing a pair of grey jogging shorts and a black skin-tight sports vest, the Betazoid could sense what he assumed was a bit of apprehension on his opponent’s behalf. “I promise to go easy on you. Are you ready?” He asked, eagerly.
Shaking her head in resignation, Parze said, “It’s not like I can squeeze in six more months of velocity training before we begin…” Parze shrugged and she secured her grip on the holographic phaser. She softened her posture, slightly, readying herself to strike in any direction that required it. “Let’s go!” she said.
”Computer begin game at level three.” Horin commanded. The computer beeped three times before the velocity disk appeared out of thin air.
”Begin!” The computer announced.
Straight away Horin fired first at the disk and scored a hit before it flew off to one side.
At first, Parze swung her phaser to the right, following the movement of the disc. Then she took a couple of steps back and aimed her phaser at where she anticipated the disc to be next. She shot a phaser burst overhead, but just missed the disc by a couple of millimeters. While she kept her gaze on the disc’s voyage across the holodeck, Parze asked, “How long have you been playing velocity?”
The disc made its return back towards Horin, almost on a collusion course so quickly he rolled on the floor and within a second of regaining his composure on his knees he aimed his phaser and fired it, scoring another direct hit. “Ever since I joined the academy.” He finally answered before scoring another two more hits as the disc bounced off the holodeck wall and towards Parze. “And don’t tell me you’ve never had the time for some hand-held weapons training?” He joked back to Parze. “What have you been doing to keep yourself sane from all of the readings and work we’ve had to do these past four years?”
Parze didn’t duck or dodge from the disc as it bore down on her. If it hit her, it hit her, and she would lose a point. She aimed her phaser again and she shot the disc on its underside, spending the disc spinning in the opposite direction. “Science officers always die first in the horror holos,” Parze remarked as she jogged in a new direction. “Oh, I’ve made time for weapons training, I promise you that. Phaser ranges, painting, designing replicator patterns… But I can’t decide what I want to do after graduation. I spent my summer keeping up with readings in both counseling and psychological research.” She didn’t have to say aloud that they were mostly solitary pursuits. Tracking the disc with her phaser, she fired at it again, and missed.
Chuckling at hearing how much studying Parze had done, he swung his phaser up high and fire two shots. He missed one attempt but got the second one. Cursing himself inwardly, he had shook it off as he moved himself from one side of the holodeck to the other. “We should explore more of this starbase. I hear they have some of the best bars in the Mellstoxx system!”
“Have you heard of one called Skygl–” Parze started to ask, but the disc had ricocheted off the overhead and had spun towards her twice as fast as before. It struck Parze in the shoulder before she could say the name. With the safety protocols engaged, Parze didn’t feel the blow. However, when the computer beeped that Horin had won his first point, Parze groaned in annoyance.
“Nicely done!” Horin sarcastically said pointing at Parze. “What was you about to say?”
The very idea of losing had put a toothy sneer on Parze’s face. It was a bit of a chilling look from the Saurian, but it didn’t last long. Even her mountainous perfectionism was defenseless against Horin’s good humour and that easy smile of his. Parze laughed, even, at the small joke at her expense. “Skyglow,” Parze replied, “in the india-navy sector. Have you heard of it? I’m told the cocktails transport you to another dimension, and half of that is just from trying to pronounce their names.”
Nodding to the sound of it, “We should go.” Horin suggested. “Get a group of the squadron together.”
In agreement, Parze offered Horin a nod in return. “Cadet Hargreaves suggested it,” Parze said. “She said she’ll invite me next time. I’ll make sure you’re there too.”
“Ready for round two? Best of three?” Horin offered.
“If you’re sure you can handle it?” Parze tauntingly replied. She raised her phaser, keeping the emitter pointed at the ceiling. Locking eyes with Horin, she swore, “I get better the more I lose. You’ll see.”
“Bring it, Parze!” Horin tempted him as he ordered the computer to begin the next round.