Difference Detween a Showgirl and a Lady
Posted on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 @ 4:38am by Lieutenant Meibei zh'Khessi
Episode 4: Whispers In the Dark
Location: Shuttlecraft Putt-Putt
“Well. How do I look?”
The man’s audience, a bubbly Andorian lieutenant and an amused Bajoran civilian, looked him over with interest in the runabout cockpit. The Andorian girl, a chirpy engineer called Mei, was plainly appreciative, but the older Bajoran woman, Hallim, was just as plainly on the verge of laughter.
“I don’t know, Chuck,” Mei said with a finger on her chin, concentrating. “I think you look...erm…”
“Handsome? Dashing? Gorgeous? All of the above?” Chuck replied smugly, waving his arms over his body.
“Ridiculous!” Hallim finally exclaimed as she burst into the laughter, unable to contain it any longer. Sure enough, by any objective measure, Chuck looked quite bizarre. Proud of his broad, perfectly chiselled chest, he had opted for a filmy shirt that was completely open, exposing his abdomen and pectorals. The accompaniment of his leather black jacket and glaring gold trousers posed a spectacular and hilarious contrast, something that Chuck had evidentally not realised, but could now see at Hallim’s tears as she giggled.
Despondent, Chuck looked to Mei, who smiled encouragingly. “Aw, don’t listen to her, Chuck. I think you look dapper.”
“Dapper!?” Hallim repeated with incredulity, her laughter redoubling. “He looks like an Orion stripper!”
“But it only matters what his fiance thinks, right?” Mei said earnestly, her antennae bending forward. “If he likes what Chuck is wearing at the wedding, than that’s all that matters, right?”
“If she likes what I’m wearing,” Chuck corrected wearily, facepalming. “My fiance is a woman. A human woman.”
“Huh? You mean that you’re not sly?” Mei asked innocently. “‘Cos I could’ve sworn you were sly.”
“And yet, this is not the case,” Chuck said with a reluctant grin. Sitting back down in the main’s pilot’s chair, he chuckled. “Okay, it might be a little extreme, but I want to look good, alright? It’s the biggest day of our lives.”
Mei gave Chuck a light punch in the arm, smiling warmly. “Good for you, Chuck. She’ll love it.”
Still breathless from her laughter, Hallim gave one last chuckle. “Oh, I bet she will. It’ll be worth going to the wedding just that.”
“You are not invited,” Chuck said pointedly, returning his focus to the brightly coloured controls before him. Outside the runabout’s viewport they could see the great pylons and concentric rings of Deep Space 9, indicating that they had arrived at their destination. “Lieutenant, set for wormhole transit. Lock down the bussard collectors and cancel our impulse wake.”
“Aye aye,” Mei said cheerfully, typing in the relevant controls casually while she peered out of the viewport. “Do you think they watch us when we go through? The wormhole aliens, I mean?”
“The Prophets always watch over us,” Hallim said gently from behind the two Starfleeters, before whispering a benediction under her breath as the vast gaping maw of the wormhole opened up before them. Within seconds, the wormhole had gobbled them right up, and the resulting splendour of the wormhole’s interior effectively silenced any further discussion. It was only upon exiting the anomaly that Chuck (Lieutenant Commander Bartowski to most) spoke up again.
“What ship was it that you said you were going to, Mei?” he asked conversationally as he pushed the ship into the brief warp flight to Deep Space 11.
“The Nogura,” Mei answered dreamily. “Sovereign-class. I ain’t see her proper yet, but I bet she’ll be a beauty. All Sovereigns are just so gorgeous, ya know?”
“A ship is merely a ship, just metal and energy,” Hallim reasoned. “‘Gorgeous’ is a strong word, my dear. They aren’t as impressive as you suggest.”
Mei sat up in indignation, her antennae splayed wide. “Aw! No, it’s not like that! A ship is a living organism, you see? You’ve got millions of individual components, you’ve got this honking great warp core pumping energised plasma out to the nacelles, and then there’s the two impulse engines at the back of the saucer. When you get into her belly, then you know a real ship from a fake showgirl. You can see the balance of the warp field, the efficiency of the EPS manifolds, and a proper ship will work proper on the inside, not just the out. But you see so many ships nowadays when they just have all flash, but then they go up to warp 9 and the warp core goes all out of whack, all because the donk-heads in charge of ‘em don’t take good care of ‘em.”
Mei’s disgust at such foul, evil individuals was unmistakable. “But a Sovereign is a real lady. Only the best of the best get to handle her, and I’ll bet that the Nogura is a looker, inside and out. Yup, it’s going to be a good day.”