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Part of USS Resolute: Chasing Shadows

4 – Date, Interrupted

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Oh yeah, red was so his colour. Tavik Rennox smiled at himself in the mirror as he straightened his collar, admiring his reflection. 

It was a new shirt, one he’d been holding back just in case he got a date with Nyla from engineering. And he had, tonight was the night. She’d agreed to have a drink with him in the lounge after her shift, so he’d gone all out. 

A full shave, styled his hair… his new shirt. Even his lucky underpants. Not that he thought there would be a hint of any between the sheets action. They both shared with others, and all efforts on his part to ensure the three others in his room would be somewhere else had fallen flat.

Maybe he might get a kiss though. 

Buoyed up by that thought, he had a spring in his step as he stepped out into the corridor, about to head toward the lounge when the red alert sounded. 

“Ohshitnonotnow!” he muttered, automatically switching directions to head up to the bridge. He was the captain’s yeoman so he didn’t really have a battlestation, unless it was in the admin office he shared with three filing cabinets, and some janitorial supplies. It had bothered him when he’d first arrived on the ship, but now he was quite fond of his little office. At least he didn’t have to share it with anyone. 

But his office wasn’t the place to be in an emergency. He should be on the bridge, helping the captain. How, he hadn’t worked out yet. This was his first posting, and his first actual red alert, and, quite frankly, the Captain scared the shit out of him. 

Raan Mason was huge, with muscles on his muscles, and Tav had seen him in the gym once… he had to have at least thirty-pack abs. Tav absently rubbed a hand over his own stomach as he headed toward the turbolifts. Perhaps he could ask for some workout tips. 

Sound ahead of him made him frown, and his steps slowed as harsh voices and barked orders reached his ears. Stifling a gasp, he tucked himself in the small space between a door and the replicator. It was his favourite on the ship, the only one that did cara-mocha-choco-espresso with extra cream and sprinkles. 

The sprinkles didn’t seem to be on the menu, but he always managed to get them. There must be some kind of cheat-code button mash he’d hit on by accident. Whatever, he always dropped by this replicator on the way to duty every morning, to start his day off right. 

He couldn’t even think of a coffee right now as the corridor ahead of him filled with hard-faced, mean-looking pirates. They spotted him and then started shooting. He yelped, trying to make himself as small as possible. 

Then a hard hand landed on the back of his neck and he was yanked backward. Perhaps this was it… he’d been hit and—

“Stay behind us, kid,” Mason growled as Tav stumbled backward, landing on his ass as the captain and Bennett, the chief engineer, practically filled the corridor with their shoulders as they took positions against each of the walls and fired back at the pirates. 

A shot hit the floor by Tav’s ankle and he gasped, scrambling for the wall behind the captain. Mason turned his head slightly, eyeing him over his shoulder while somehow still managing to hit two pirates. 

“Can you shoot, kid?” he growled over the noise. 

Tav nodded soundlessly, his eyes wide. He could shoot. Well, he knew the principles of shooting. He’d been on the ranges and his scores were okay. But he’d never shot anything that fired back. Not like this.

“CAN YOU SHOOT?” the captain growled louder, his attention back on the battle. He and the Chief Engineer moved forward, one after the other, forcing Tav to lurch to his feet to follow them. They weren’t speaking to each other, they weren’t even looking at each other… so how the hell did they know what the other one was going to do?

“Yes!” he squeaked, then cleared his throat and made his voice deeper. “Yeah, I can shoot.”

“Okay, take this.” The captain fished out a hand phaser tucked in his belt. “Cover the rear. If anyone tries to sneak up on us, shoot them.”

“Yes, sir! Got it, sir!” he managed, almost dropping the phaser but then getting a grip on it. His knuckles were white as he turned, keeping his attention on the corridor behind them as the two senior officers fought the pirates. 

“Move, kid!” A growl behind him revealed he’d missed them moving again and he yelped, scuttling to keep up in a weird, sideways crab-run so he could watch them and keep an eye on the corridor behind them. The captain was counting on him! Tav couldn’t let him down.

They reached a turn, and Tav hit the wall of the corridor behind the captain as they finally forced the pirates around the corner. 

“Mason to the bridge,” the captain said between trying to kill more pirates. Tav suspected that if he ran out of charge in his assault rifle, he’d just pile in and batter them with it. “Pirates are in corridor section E42, bring the containment fields up between this section and the next.”

All the air left Tav’s lungs in a rush as people stopped shooting at them. He sagged against the wall and looked at the phaser in his hand. 

“I was in a firefight!” he gasped. “An actual firefight.”

“Don’t let it go to your head, kid,” Bennett, the Chief Engineer chuckled. “You survived a firefight without shooting your own feet or us.”

“Come on. We still need to secure engineering,” the captain said, looking down at Tav. “You did good, kid. Stick with us.“

“Yes, sir! Of course, sir!” he said, snapping to attention and hurrying after the two senior officers. He’d thought opting to be a yeoman would mean boring admin for the rest of his life, but this was way better!