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Joint Log, Capt. Zak Taylor & Lt. Jg Bevin MacArdry
Bevin got the idea that Captain Winford would try invading, err, coming aboard, the Darmok to requisition (steal) the spheres the others had taken to Relok’s mom for safekeeping. She knew the Vulcans were a proud people who didn't readily suffer fools among them, and Winford was most certainly acting it, considering his obsession with getting them. Well, she had come up with a solution for that… a bunch of spheres that looked like the ones he wanted but, instead, were filled with a veritable cornucopia of prankster’s presents, everything from aerosol Urushiol and Butyl Mercaptan to smoke powder that would blacken his face for a month, joy buzzers and other shocking items geared towards the mass destruction of dignity.
Once Captain Taylor was back on board, she requested for him to come down to her workroom to discuss dealing with the arrogant interloper. She hoped he thought the solution to Winford’s superciliously arrogant demands she developed was more than satisfactory to him.
Zak was finally wearing a dry uniform and noticed the blinking light of a message on his monitor. He tapped it and saw the request from Bevin to come see her latest creations. The text message didn’t have a lot of detail, just basically, “I have something for Winford.” The Captain pulled up a quick status check on the monitor and saw they had a few minutes before arriving at the Station so he decided to see what Bevin had up her sleeve.
He tapped the comm button and called, “Captain to Lt. MacArdry, I have a few minutes, I’ll see you in Main Engineering shortly.” He didn’t wait for an answer before he stepped out his door and crossed to the Turbolift.
She already had the box loaded with her version of the spheres, waiting for the Captain to check them over and give his verdict on her little deception project. The standard “CAUTION” label had been affixed to the container’s exterior in several locations. She had one of the more innocuous spheres on a stand on the table, ready for Winford to grab without looking at the others too closely, or so she hoped.
The Captain exited the Turbolift and stepped around the corner to enter Main Engineering. His own career had begun in Engineering on the Sirocco, before he’d shifted to Operations when he transferred to the Nautilus. It had been a while, but he still thrilled to feel the deep, subsonic pulse of the warp core thrumming through the floor. He glanced around, seeing only the standard work crews manning their stations. He stopped a Petty Officer and asked, “Where’s MacArdry?” The man smiled a wicked smile and pointed at a work room set off to one side.
The Captain walked over and peered in to see MacArdry grinning at a box stamped “CAUTION” in many places. Then he noticed, it seemed to contain soul spheres, but he knew they had been delivered to the Vulcans on the planet below. He cleared his throat and said, “Lieutenant, I thought we’d dropped off all the spheres. I didn’t realize you were working with some of them down here.”
Bevin giggled mischievously. “Ye daid, thais ais samethin spaishil fer Wainferd.” The way she said the name made it almost sound like ‘Whine-ferd’. “I faiggired, atwain aill tha tailipiths hair, we caeld maisk inny psaikik saignichures thay’d gi auff taill hay gi’s ye a saigned raisaipt. Thain thay’re hais prawblim, nae aurs…” She giggled again, more wickedly than ever, her eyes dancing with mischief. “I’ll aixplain latir… tha way ye cainnae gait ain trawbil ivvir thais.”
Zak squinted at her, struggling to unravel the strong Brogue of her accent but following most of it. “So,” he surmised, “these aren’t any real spheres, they’re something you’ve cooked up to pacify Winford. Not a bad idea, I guess, but … I’m a little disturbed at your last sentence. It seems that there’s something in this box that could get me … us,” he added pointedly, “in some serious trouble. And I think you’re hinting that I probably shouldn’t know very much about it. The problem is, I think I already know too much to stay clear of it.”
He sighed heavily, bit his lip, rubbed his face, ran a hand through his greying hair, then finally said, “I’m going to regret this, but probably less than if I didn’t say it. Out with it, what’s going on in that devious little red head of yours, Bevin?”
She smiled wickedly. “Same o thaim hae Urushiol an Bewtyl Marcaiptin ain thaim, ithirs hae blaik smawk pawdir, saimi pairminint, an ithirs hae stannirs air jawy bazzirs alang wi a dazin air sae canfaitti bawms… Ye thaink tha’s ainuff air shaeld I aidd mair? I kin ailways mak same alang tha lines o draibbil glaissis…” She had learned many dirty tricks and pranks from her siblings to say nothing of the ones learned from her sorority sisters in INB. She had even managed to teach them a few new tricks. Admiral Janeway would be busting a gut over this, since she was the secret head of the Sorority. Bevin looked like a cat caught finishing off the last of the salmon filets and rolling in the cream.
Zak’s mouth went agape. He stammered, “Th- th- that’s some … interesting adaptations. I’m not sure I know just what Urushiol or Butyl Mercaptan are but they sound nasty. Smoke powder, stunners, joy buzzers, confetti … dribble glasses? Winford will be pissed!” He smiled in spite of himself. Then his smile faded and was replaced with a frown. “He is a Starfleet Captain, and with more tenure and contacts that I have, some of whom are quite powerful. I don’t know, Bevin, this could get us some serious kickback. I’m in enough hot water just not turning them over in the first place.”
He ran his fingers through his hair again. “Here’s what we’ll do. Officially, I’m going to tell you not to do this prank. If you go through with it, I will have to discipline you and it will go on your record as insubordination, that’s a pretty serious charge. And, officially, I will tell Winford I gave the spheres to the Vulcans for the proper storage and study of the life essences trapped in them as katric arks. I can probably get away with that.”
He paused for effect, then smiled mischievously, “But, if some ‘empty’ spheres were overlooked in the original delivery to the Vulcan Priests, and if some of those had been tampered with, and if some of that tampering had accidental side effects, I’d just have to apologize profusely for the poor judgment of some of my crew.”
He turned from the table and started to leave, then stopped and turned. “Just a reminder. I am officially telling you not to send Winford booby trapped spheres. Now, if you would dispose of these tampered-with spheres properly, I will put this matter out of my mind.” Without waiting for her response, he stepped briskly out of the workroom and exited Engineering with a smile on his face.