"Why Jack you look the picture of total frustration." Terri said as he sat down across from her at the Replimat, a small public bank of replicators used for meals when one is in a hurry, on star base 186. "What's up?"
"Don't worry about it, it's stupid." Jack sighed idly picking at his food.
"Aw come on you can tell me." Terri smiled. "Did you piss off Harry and have to help the engineering crew?"
"Fara ripped on you for resetting the calibrations on your station?" Terri asked.
"No." Jack said. "I told you it was stupid."
"Come on Jack, I'm practically your girlfriend now." Terri said teasingly. "You could maybe tell me about it."
"Ok fine." Jack sighed. "You know I've been playing that Ultimate Warfare game lately?"
"Yes." Terri said flatly remembering she was sure that was why he was a bit late to their last date. "That game that despite your age I don't know why you are playing it."
"Because it's fun to blow digital people in to smithereens." Jack replied.
"Pfft, like we don't have enough of that in real life." Terri said drolly. "So what's got you down?"
"Well I joined this new host last night that's supposed to be for veteran players, and I was doing pretty good till this one just kept kicking my ass. Every time I moved they were there. And the damnedest thing was this player was using a damn beam katana and a FTL arrow bow. Hell no one was safe they won every match they were on. No one was able to even get a kill on them."
"So you got schooled." Terri mused. "Well if you can't win why continue to play the stupid thing."
"Well it's the challenge, I thought I was good till I played this player. I even tried switching to their own weapons and they still kicked my ass."
"So you're going to keep playing?" Terri said. "Or do I have to remind you of the ass chewing you got last time you had a date."
"Oh well I haven't forgot about that, 1800 right?"
"1700." Terri corrected him patiently. "You were going to take me out dancing remember?"
"Yes I remember!" Jack replied.
"Then why didn't you have the time correct?" Terri said not looking at him.
"Um I'm not perfect." Jack replied. "I'll be there I promise."
"You know I don't mind your odd little hobbies." Terri said. "In fact I like a few of them but I don't like a stupid videogame making you late to dates."
"It won't, I promise." Jack said apologetically.
Terri smiled and nodded but didn't believe him. "I'm just saying your not the only cute guy on this station I may be interested in. Maybe the others can put down that stupid controller and get to their dates with me on time."
"Terri, I got the message loud and clear I'll be there." Jack said.
"You better be." Terri mused.
Just then the Raptor's call alarm went off.
"RED ALERT ATTENTION ALL RAPTOR PERSONNEL REPORT TO DOCKING RING IMMEDIATELY."
"Ok you can't hold me accountable for those." Jack said.
"There is still plenty of day left, we might be back on time." Terri said dropping her fork and getting up from the table.
Timeline: Concurrent with "Salvage"
Two hours later.
The emergency had turned out to be no more then a small raid of Zeebesian ships on a convoy near their space. The Raptor was one of four close ship that were able to quickly respond and the Space Pirates were quickly routed and retreated from the area. A few had even broke from the fight upon the Raptor's quick arrival on the scene. The Raptor had managed to get through the fight unscathed and its crew breathed a sigh of relief seeing the Space Pirate Vessels retreat off into the distance.
"Wow all that fuss for one little pirate attack?" Jack sighed as he brought the ship around.
"It was easier to call for our help then to have the escort break from the convoy." Harry said. "Besides it's not like we had anything pressing to attend to for that matter."
Jack wondered what was with his tone he sounded slightly irritated. "Something bothering you skipper?" He asked.
"Nothing you need to be concerned about." Harry said. "Terri signal Starbase 186 and tell them we'll be returning shortly."
"Aye, sir." Terri replied.
"Captain, there was a slight drop in our power levels during the attack nothing major but it's definitely something that should be looked into ." Jakar said.
"What type of drop?" Harry sighed. "I told them to fix that."
"Well Mrs. Phoenix has been on furlough lately." Jakar said patiently. "It should be accepted that things may not be running as smoothly."
"On my ship, I want things running smoothly or else." Harry grumbled. "How much of variation was it this time?"
"About fourteen percent on the starboard forward shield generator."
"Ok." Harry sighed. Hitting the com switch. "Mr. Knackt.
"What?!" The Rat replied.
"Why are my shield generators not running up to par."
"Firk, what are you talkin' about I just adjusted them the other day." Knackt replied over the speaker.
"Check your readings apparently you did not correct the problem." Harry groused.
Over the speaker, some hurried typing followed by a few muttered curses came up. "I'm sorry Captain I must have missed it, I'll get someone on it right away."
"I know you are a little swamped at the moment with Mrs. Phoenix on furlough but I need you to step up your game Mr. Knackt, or Arspace Employee or not you will be looking for another assignment is that understood."
"Yeah, yeah. Clear as day, Captain." The rat replied cutting off the channel.
"I really can't wait for the day Fara gets back." Harry sighed slumping back in his chair and rubbing his forehead.
Suddenly a computer error sound sounded and all the bridge consoles started flashing.
"What is that…" Harry said suddenly sitting up in his chair.
"Unknown, Sir." Lt. Cmndr Rivas said. "It appears we seem to be having some sort of minor system malfunction."
He then looked up and saw Terri beside him. "Let me take a look please."
"Be my guest." Rivas said stepping over to the side station.
Then as soon as it started the problem stopped and the ship returned to normal.
"Ok, some answers would be nice."
"It's a minor system hiccup." Terri said. "For some reason the computer decided to try to refresh the automatic diagnostic protocols. It looks like we've just got some errant code floating around still from the Epsilon Three computer test."
Harry frowned. "Is this anything we should be worried about."
"I don't think so, I'm sure we had everything purged before we left space dock after the system was pulled."
"Ms. O'mara do you have any ideas?" Harry asked.
"It just seems minor, seriously sir, with this ship I'm surprised it hasn't happened more frequently." The avian shrugged.
"I think I've got it taken care of." Terri said typing in a few commands. "It would probably help if we did a complete shut down of the ship and then do a warm up from start when we get back."
Rivas looked over his system readouts. "All systems appear to be in the green."
"Ok, we'll worry about that when we get back to star base." Harry said. "Back to your station Lieutenant, and thank you."
Terri nodded and headed back to her place.
"I've already got a course laid in sir." Jack said helpfully. "We're on our way."
Harry nodded and went back to his slump.
Jack spun back around in his chair and made an "O… kay." Look to his face and opened a text window and typed something really quickly:
Msg to User: Terri-Lu
Jack Land Harry is in real good spirits today.
His board beeped.
Terri-Lu No kidding, not one of his better moods.
Jack chuckled, him and Terri had gotten pretty good passing their little electronic notes back and forth to each other.
"Is something funny Mr. Land?" Harry said from his chair.
"Just remembering a joke I heard the other day." Jack said smoothly.
"Then I suggest you keep it to yourself." Harry groused.
"Yes sir." Jack replied without flinching and he glanced down as his console beeped again:
Terri-Lu "Ha ha You got in trouble. ;P Better behave, we have a date remember?"
Jack glanced over his shoulder at Terri who was doing a pretty good job of looking quite busy. His console bleeped again.
Terri-Lu You do remember right || .V.||?
Jack quickly typed his response.
Jack Land Of course I do! I'll be at your quarters to pick you up right on time.
His flight control beeped and he looked at the read out. "Harry I hate to add to our list of woes. The navigational deflector's output just dropped about thirty percent I'm going to have to drop us to about warp five."
He heard Harry groan and get out of his seat. "Just get us home Mr. Land, inform engineering." He straightened his uniform with a tug. "Mr. Rivas, you have the bridge, I'll be in my quarters if anything pressing happens."
"Aye." Don replied.
As he left it felt as if the door to the bridge could have been slammed it would have.
"Is it just me or does he seem a bit more annoyed then usual?" Land said once he was gone.
Don Rivas climbed up into the command chair and settled down.
"He has a lot on his mind lately." Don said checking his readings.
"Like what, considering the all the "Fun" we had a few weeks ago?" Land groused. "The only thing we've been doing since then is chasing pirates and Urtheans."
"I don't' know and it's not my business to know as long as he's doing his job." Don growled.
"Yes but you do have to admit he's been pretty tense lately." Michelle said. "I'm kind of worried about him."
"I'm sure whatever it is he'll work it out." Rivas sighed.
The Raptor arrived back at Starbase 186 without any further incidents. It slid past the woefully damaged Aether that had been stranded at the Starbase for the last few weeks do to various delays and other setbacks. The ship was crawling with workbees, and engineers during their best to get the crippled ship back in order again.
The ship returned to its slip and docked with a familiar "thud" as the hard-points connected. Everyone logged off their stations and the ship slowly powered down to its stand by mode. Gradually the non engineering personnel funneled off the ship and into the corridor. As Terri and Jack walked towards the exit Kai Remmick whistled and motioned for Jack to come over to him.
Terri and Jack walked over to him
"Yeah what's up?"
"Are you going to be on tonight?" He asked.
"What, the game?"
"Erm not tonight but maybe later." Jack said.
"Damn. Well it looks like I'm going to be here till later." Kai groused. "I was hoping we could team up and take out that annoying 2hot4u."
"Two hot for you?" Terri asked.
"Yeah that's the player who mopped the floor with us last night!" Kai growled.
"Oh gods, there are more of you?" Terri sighed.
"Maybe tomorrow, I'll be off duty for the first half of the day." Jack said. "But yeah, we should try working as a team that chick has some damn nerve."
"What nerve?" Terri asked. "Sounds like whoever it is, is just way better than you two."
"There is being better and then there is just being a jackass." Kai said defensively.
"It's just a stupid game, what is there to be upset about?" Terri said non chalantly
"Yeah but it's a game we don't like losing!" Jack smirked.
"I don't even get why you play it, we have holo-decks, a way bit more interactive than some box hooked up to a vid screen.'
"Well for one you can't sprain an ankle…" Jack said.
"Or hurt your back…" Kai added.
"Or dislocate an arm." Jack said pulling at his whiskers in thought.
"You two are pathetic…" Terri said rolling her eyes. "Boys and their toys, I'm going to take care of a few things before tonight ok Jack?"
"Yeah sure no problem" Jack replied. "1700, your place."
"Good boy." She said patting him on the arm and heading down the corridor.
"Got a date?" Kai asked.
Jack nodded. "Yeah so I probably won't be on tonight, but we'll shoot for sometime tomorrow morning, give me a call on the con."
"Sure thing." Kai said as his combadge beeped and he tapped it.
"Hey Kitty Cat where the hell are you!" Knackt's voice came through the small speaker. "What the hell are you doing on deck three! I thought you were going to work on the deflector!"
"Yeah yeah I'm going to be on it Rat boy." Kai snapped back. "I had to pick up some tools first."
"Whatever just get your tail down their pronto I don't want to be here all damn night." Knackt snapped as the channel cut off.
"Well, I gotta go." Kai said. "Boss is a calling."
"I bet you are really missing Fara huh?" Land asked.
"It wouldn't be so bad to work with the little bastard if he didn't resemble a snack back on Catar." Kai smirked. "Later." He said heading down the corridor.
Jack started to head for the exit when Harry walked past him heading the same way.
"Yo, something bothering you?" He asked.
Harry looked at him with a glare. "Nothing you need to be concerned with, why?"
"Well you've been a bit on the grouchy side the last few days, just curious."
"Jack…" Harry said a bit irritated. "I have just had to deal with a board of inquiry right after that damn disaster with the Epislon Three a couple of weeks back. Do you know how much CYA is involved in that whole process, before and after. I've had so many damn interviews with internal affairs I'm not even sure I'm keeping my part of the story straight." Harry sighed. "And to top that off my Chief Engineer is off trying to get her self back together and the Raptor is slowly starting to fall apart, I think I have plenty of reasons to be slightly irritated." Harry finished with a huff.
"Wow, sorry I asked." Jack said holding up his hands.
"That god damned computer has just caused one nightmare after another for me." Harry growled. "It's not like what happened wasn't bad enough, and having to go by the Aether every time we come back is just a nice kick to the ribs every time we pass it."
"Do you want to go grab a beer and vent?" Jack asked.
Harry took a deep breath and let it out. "Yeah I could use something."
Jack pulled up his sleeve and looked at his wrist watch. "I got at least an hour to kill lets go."
They walked along the promenade to their usual watering hole. As they did they saw Captain De'Sol approaching from the other way. She herself was looking not to damn happy. Harry suddenly seemed slightly tense.
"Morning, Captain." Jack said as they got closer.
"Ensign." Jayna said politely as she passed them not once her gaze falling on Harry.
"Did you suddenly turn invisible?" Jack said to Harry when she was out of earshot.
"Are you as stupid as you seem or is it an act?" Harry growled.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jack said cocking his head.
"Well you, doofus, when one's ship tends to open fire on another's when its defenseless it doesn't put one, in the best of moods." Harry snapped. "Look if you are going to be obtuse this time I'll go do something else."
Jack put his hands up again. "Ok, ok got it I'm not deaf. I'll just shut up and buy the beer."
After he had gotten settled at his usual seat and ordered lunch at Lita's. It was a small bar / café that had been on the station for quite a while now. It was located just of the docking corridor on the lower levels of the station's promenade. It was ran by an un-bonded middle-aged Eviason. She was a lanky tall mustelid with a main of black head fur and was known to be even-tempered with her patrons until a fight would break out Then of course she would break it up with a view of the old scattergun she kept under the bar.
Harry's mood seemed to improve a little bit, especially after Jack provided the lunch and refreshments. Harry had started to fill him in on some of the details of the goings-on that had kept him tied up after the ill-fated Epsilon Three tests. Harry had told him about Captain De'Sol's blatant refusal of his help despite the shape that her ship was in.
"So I know she had something to do with your extra pip." Jack said as they talked about it. "Something between you two I should know, I mean you were gone for three months and…."
"It's not like that." Harry lied, but Jack wasn't sharp enough to catch it. "But yes she did have a hand in my little promotion I don't know what for though."
"You said earlier you two had the same teachers when you were in the academy, was that part of that little cult I keep hearing the crew murmur about now and then?" Jack asked.
Harry glared. "It's not a cult." He said taking a quick bite of his food, chewing and then swallowing. "It was basically a very difficult highly accelerated command school, there were only fifty-five people to graduate under Admiral Kramers program. I'm one of them so is she."
"Oh, so some sort of brothers in arms thing then," Jack said. " Yeah I could see why she'd feel a little pissed."
"I don't know if it is that or what…" Harry sighed although he was sure that was at least a part of it.
"Well she is a starship captain, I'm sure she's dealt with these problems before." Land shrugged. "Maybe you should just back off and if she needs help she'll ask for it."
"She's already made off with a chunk of my new recruits" Harry sighed. "It was the least I could do for her. However, that ship has just sat there, with very little work getting accomplished." Harry did some quick math in his head. "She's got to have Fleet HQ pitching a conniption fit over that."
"Plus you feel a little guilty that she won't let you help anymore then you have." Jack alluded.
"Yes, especially when half the time when the Raptor is in good shape, we have the staff to help them with their repairs." Harry grumbled
"I may get decked for this." Jack said. "I know we're all supposed to be one big happy fleet and all but if she doesn't want our help then, screw her then. It's not our problem, I know we indirectly caused it but still. It's not like we don't have our own problems, Harry."
Harry merely nodded. "You have a point." He took a drink and then settled back in his chair. "Why is it sometimes you are a total idiot, and other times a nice dash of insight when I need it."
Jack shrugged as he glanced at his watch. "Dunno, it's all the wonderful complexity that's me."
"Complex is half right," Harry smirked. "You have an appointment or something?"
"Yeah, a date I don't to miss." Jack replied.
"You still with Terri?" Harry asked.
"Yeah." Jack said smiling.
"You best not miss that." Harry said.
"I know, hey look if your feeling a bit better, I'm gonna go knock off and take care of a few things."
"Sure, thanks for lunch." Harry said.
Jack started to get up and leave.
"Hey." Lita shouted at him. "Pay the tab first."
"Sorry." Jack said fishing for his credit chip in his pocket.
"And you own me for lunch yesterday," Lita grumbled. "I should charge you interest that's the third time you've done that."
"You just can't win can you." Harry chuckled.
Lita took the chip and swiped it in the reader and then tossed it back to Jack. "There you are square now You aren't getting any warnings next time."
"Yes mam." Jack said catching the chip and turning to leave.
He got back to his quarters and he still had some time to kill.
He showered, changed into civilian clothes and then turned on his gaming console.
He wasn't sure who started building these things but they had come from his home system and quickly spread like wildfire especially when people started making games to play for it. It was simply a slightly modified data console that one could log onto the federation network and play any type of old 2d or quasi 3d game imaginable. Terri was right, it was an outmoded type of entertainment however, a lot of people across the federation from kids to adults had replicated one and played on the network. He had it attached to an extra video monitor he had for watching movies on.
He turned on the machine, logged on and started his Ultimate Warfare game that he had grown quite fond of. It was, of course, mindless entertainment provided via a combat simulation from the first-person perspective. The catch was about every type of weapon imaginable was un-lockable on it. His favorite thing to do was play the free for all non-era restrictive matches simply with the interesting mélange of weapons used during that play.
As soon as he logged on the screen showed who was online and he glared at a name he'd grown to despise seeing over the last few days in his favored enemy list.
Enemies Online: == 32hot4u3==
He sent a challenge to 2hot and waited.
"What do you want?" A gruff but feminine voice message played over the speakers.
"I want to join the next match your in?" Jack said after grabbing his headset and turning it on.
"Pfft. What you didn't get enough schooling last night?" The voice replied.
"You are going to screw up eventually." Jack smirked.
"Whatever fine, I have to kill a few minutes anyway." The voice replied. "You must be a glutton for punishment."
2hot4u granted his challenge and the system board showed them lined up to be in the next match.
"Yeah yeah, keep talking you're going to go down one of these nights." Jack taunted over his microphone.
Terri was going through her usual routine trying to get ready for her date with Taber sitting on her bed mewing at her in protest because she had yet to feed him yet.
"Taber, I need to find my damn red dress." She snipped at him as he mewed again with his ears flattened against his head. "Then I'll feed you." She dove back into her closet and kept flipping through her wardrobe. She couldn't figure out how she had so few clothes but couldn't find what she needed when she wanted it. It didn't help that her pet Taber cat was being especially needy today.
He finally let one long howl out at her and she promptly chucked a black blouse at him that covered him. The cat yelped in surprise and started hissing and then fell out off the bed and skittered out of the room. She had already put up of enough of that howling when she was trying to get cleaned up. He insisted on sitting on the sink and bellowing at her balefully and by this point she had had quite enough.
She finally located the elusive article of clothing after a bit more digging. She slipped it on and worked on her hair and glanced at the wall clock. She still had a few minutes. Normally she would have planned this a little better but she wasn't counting on not finding her dress. As she brushed her hair she walked over to her entertainment center and quickly closed it up. She still had to tidy up a little bit and she didn't like cabinets being open. She had to at least maintain some standard, especially when dating Jonathan Land who had a habit of leaving his place a little messy. She was hoping to set a good enough example it would rub off on him. With her hair properly poofed, perfume applied, she quickly put some food in Taber's bowl and picked up the mess in her bedroom. 1800 was getting closer and closer and as she quickly shoved the errant clothes in a spare dresser drawer her door chime rang.
"Who is it?" She said.
"It's me." Jack's voice said over the speaker.
Good boy. She thought to smile to some inner amusement. "Give me a second you are a bit early for once."
"Ok." Jack replied. "Where would you like to go?"
"Hanger 97 of course." Terri said taking a final check of herself in the mirror.
"Ah, ok good pick." Jack said. "I think I can handle that."
The door suddenly opened and Terri got the appropriate response out of him as the door opened. "Wow.. You look great." He stammered.
Terri smirked, this had been the response she was looking for. Her outfit left little to the imagination hugging to her figure in flattering ways. It was a silky one-piece, red affair with a small heart-opening beneath the neck with her shoulders covered and the skirt ending a little bit below her knees.
Jack had done his usual good job of cleaning up but he did look a bit underdressed. He had simply chosen some khaki slacks and a red pinstriped shirt with a black vest.
She held out her hand ladylike. "So are you going to be a gentleman or stand there and gawk at me all night." She smiled.
Jack offered his arm and she slipped her arm through it, and they started walking to the promenade of the station."
"Thanks for not being late." She said pecking him on the cheek. "What happened your game piss you off."
"Har har." Jack said as the walked off. "But yes I got my ass kicked again."
Terri made an irritated grunt, At least he got here on time. She told herself. "You know I don't really care if you play that stupid game, as long as you don't get totally absorbed in it."
"I'll try to be more mindful of the time. I did this time though."
"Yes, and I appreciate it." Terri replied. "So.. did you find that movie you were looking for what was it Zombie Vixens 3? I'd really like to see how that series ends."
"Um well, I'm trying." Jack said. "My friend working on the Archiving project back on Corneria is pretty swamped with more important matters at the moment but he swears he'll have it rounded up in the next few days or so."
"I hope so, I've been dying to see it." Terri said.
They continued to talk as they continued on their way and as they did Terri began to think.
She liked that they both had an affinity for old horror movies from both their homeworlds. They had spent many a night watching them together and it had become a fairly weekly event time and emergency allowing of course. It was hardly enlightening entertainment by any means but there was a subtle charm about cherry syrup blood and ridiculous plots that they both enjoyed.
They had been steadily dating for the last few months. Terri was really fond of Jack, sure he was a ditz and sometimes annoying but he was a great guy underneath his scruffy exterior. Even if he did need the appropriate shove in the right direction now and then. More importantly to Terri, she felt a bit of the soul-touch when with him. He made her feel comfortable and made her laugh often and they seemed to click quite well. It was unusual for Echidna's to feel this special bond with other sentient life forms but not unheard of.
The worst part of it was it had hit her the first time they were on the bridge together. He had just walked past her and suddenly she felt out of breath and suddenly dizzy. At first she had thought it was Harry, who she did find attractive but she knew it was Jack when they boarded the turbo lift together after the Raptor had disembarked from it after it's maiden flight.
She didn't know how to quite handle this around him. She felt such a strong draw to the Fox but wasn't sure how to address it. If only he had spines… she sighed inwardly, then he might understand.
That would make a lot of things easier.
She had an ulterior motive when she had asked him to take her out.
Unlike her people, Cornerian's had slight hang-ups when it came to courting. Terri was more used to the other races who had more looser standards when it came to fulfilling certain carnal desires.
She remembered hooking Fara up with that Altairian a while back. Then she remembered returning to her apartment alone, fairly drunk and frustrated that night. All she could think about was Jack. She'd had a whole multitude of guys hit on her at the bar and she blew each and every one of them off. If only she had ultra freaky pheromones as well, or if he was an Echidna this would be much easier! She had read about every damn book she could on Cornerian social practices and she had decided that damn it all she was going to jump him tonight or else.
She had urges and desires and she was going to get something resolved tonight before she started climbing the walls in her quarters.
For now she'd play this little game of civility with him but her sudden little shows of affection, not to mention his reaction to her outfit was definitely giving him some slightly more than subtle clues.
She gently put her paw into his and entwined their fingers as they talked.
"So I've been thinking…" Jack said noticing that little unusual show. "We've got a good thing going right?"
Terri nodded. "For the most part."
"Well I've been thinking, you want to go the next step?"
"What are you talking about?" Terri feigned ignorance.
"Well I think we've got it pretty bad for each other." Jack said quietly as they passed some people in on the promenades platform.
"What makes you think that?" Terri said liking where this was going.
"Well we got pretty hot and heavy the other night and well you about gagged me with your tongue." Land chuckled.
Terri flushed a bit under her fur. "Well yes, sorry about that."
"Crap I don't know how to ask this, I really didn't pay much attention during the social briefings when I signed up." Jack sighed rubbing his head.
"So…." Terri said leading him on. "I guess you want to see where tonight takes us? Is that what your thinking?" Thank Aurora, about damn time.
"Yeah, that sounds pretty good." Jack said.
"Sounds like a plan to me." Terri smiled.
The night went on and it went splendidly.
They ate dinner and as promised they danced.
Terri was quite impressed, Jack turned out to be quite the avid dancer. They enjoyed themselves thoroughly and as the night wound on they held each other tightly and danced to a slow song with Terri hooking her arms around his neck while they kissed as the music played.
They went headed back to her place and were practically all over each other as they passed through the door. Taber yelped as his tail got stepped on accidentally as they passed through the threshold.
However, as they started to paw at each other's clothing the klaxon sounded.
"RED ALERT! RED ALERT!" The automated call sounded. "ATTENTION ALL RAPTOR PERSONEL REPORT TO DOCKING RING IMEDIATELY."
"Fuck." Terri groaned as the alarm sounded.
"It figures…." Jack sighed. "Rain-check?"
Terri nodded. "I gotta get changed, you can … use the replicator. Instead of running back to your quarters."
She headed back to her room.
"Can I watch?" Jack chuckled.
"Later, we got to get our butts in gear or we're going to get wrote up." Terri said as she disappeared between the doors of her quarters.
Harry did a mental count he was short two people and time was running out. He hesitated a moment hovering his hand over the main switch. When he saw Terri and Land running as fast as they could towards the entrance ramp.
"Come on you two, Hustle!" He shouted at them.
They both picked up the pace of their run and Jack practically dived over the threshold as Terri did.
Harry slapped the release switch and the airlock slammed shut. "Mr. Rivas take us out I'll be up their shortly."
"Understood, Captain." Rivas' voice said.
"Lieutenant, explain yourself." Harry said as the ship disengaged from the docking clamps.
Terri was panting a bit leaning against the wall. "I was just a little slow getting going, I'm sorry sir."
"And you ensign." Harry said glaring at Land down on all fours panting.
"Just wasn't paying to good of attention I guess." Jack shrugged between his pants and getting back to his feet.
"It's a klaxon that pages all personnel at a quite an annoying decibel that can't be missed." Harry said drolly. "Next time I won't wait, is that understood Lieutenant, Ensign?"
They both snapped to attention. "Yes sir." They said at the same time.
"Take your stations, we've got a report of Urthean Scutta's poking around sector 332, since its close we got to check it out." He looked at Terri. "I need you to check to see if there is any subspace traffic going to and from those vessels, if they are plotting an attack I don't want to be caught un aware."
Terri nodded affirmatively and headed towards the bridge.
"Well what are you waiting for?" Harry snapped at Jack.
"Right, right. Fly the ship. I'm on it." Jack said slipping past him.
Once they were out of view Harry rolled his eyes and headed up to the bridge himself.
Within a few moments, the Raptor arrived at the coordinates the hostiles had been spotted. Commander Martinez had ordered the cloaking device engaged so they could get a good look at the ships once they dropped out of warp.
"I'm detecting three Urthean Scutta class cruisers," Jakar said. "They do not have their weapons armed and appear to be running some deep long-range scans.'
"Terri keep your ears open to any subspace chatter." Harry said eyeing the three cruisers.
"Captain.." Lt. O'mara spoke up. "These ships, although they appear to be similar in design to ones we've encountered before, do not match our database records, in fact, there are several different modifications that I can notice."
"Explain?" Harry asked.
"Warp signatures are vastly different, the hull configurations are completely different and from the plasma residue, I don't even think their warp cores are standard issue.
Harry rose a brow and then glanced over at his shoulder at Jakar.
"Can you confirm that Chief?" He asked Jakar.
Jakar did another scan. "Confirmed, I appear to have overlooked some minor details." He said levelly.
"You just earned your pay for the week Lieutenant," Harry said approvingly.
"Thank you sir." O'mara said proudly.
"Recommendations, Sir?" Jack said as they closed the difference.
"Keep your distance lets watch them for a while. Are their any convoys scheduled to pass through this area?"
"Yes one to the colony on Kestrel Three, the route passes within a few light-years of here and there is traffic currently." Rivas replied.
"What type of escort do they have."
"Nothing like what our typical runs have." Rivas replied. "A couple of Spartans and an Tobor. They haven't had any attacks along this route."
"And here sit three ships capable of making a run and simply minding their own business in this sector." Harry mused. "Have they noticed the convoy?"
"I'm detecting that they have kept a constant beam focused on them." Lt. O'mara reported.
"Captain, I am detecting they are transmitting some subspace messages but they do not appear to be being beamed towards the known subspace relay points."
"The plot thickens." Harry mused getting up out of his chair. "Let's stick to just keeping an eye on them but until they make a hostile maneuver then we'll drop in and say hi. Have they spotted us?"
"No it doesn't appear so." Jakar replied.
"Then we'll just watch them and make sure they don't start any trouble. Ms. Lu please transmit on hyper channel our current situation and that we are investigating these ships."
Terri nodded and went to work.
An hour passed and the Raptor stealthily followed the three vessels. They appeared to be trying to find away into Confederation space that wasn't too crowded with traffic. They made several attempted runs into it but quickly turned around as soon as they spotted another ship.
The strange thing was, they quickly returned to the same starting point and tried again.
"Ok these are the weirdest bunch of raiders we've ever come across." Jack mused as once again they were returning to the original coordinates they had intercepted the raiders."
"Yes this is quite strange." Harry allowed. "Mr. Land pull us ahead of them and Jakar prepare to drop the cloak. Let's make ourselves known."
"Finally about time we had a little action." Land muttered as he increased their speed and had them pull in front of the three Scutta's.
"Let's get their attention, Jakar charge the weapons and on my mark drop the cloak. Ms. Lu open hailing frequencies."
"Hailing frequencies open, Captain." Terri Lu said as the familiar hailing chime sounded.
"Attention Urthean vessels, this is Commander Martinez of the Starship Raptor, we have been tracking your intrusions into Confederation space and we are ordering you to stand down immediately." He then motioned to Jakar who dropped the cloak. "Go to attack mode."
The Raptor de-cloaked in front of the three Scutta's in warp space as its ablative armor engaged. Amazingly enough, the Scutta's complied and dropped out of warp. The Raptor did as well and quickly spun to train its pulse phasers on the three ships.
"Sir, they are signaling the universal surrender," Terri said looking quite shocked. "They are also requesting to speak to you."
"Really now? That is quite amazing. On screen."
The screen flickered and on it appeared to be an Urthean female with an unusual molted gray fur color and black headfur. She also had freckle like spots and real organic eyes without the glow of cybernetic implants. "I am Gel Chanzai of the Kilagra Urthean Empire. You may stand down your weapons we are not here to fight."
"Kilagra, never heard of it." Harry said.
Chanzi smirked and said something that the universal translator did not pick up.
Jakar made a growl and Harry signal the channel be muted.
"What did they say?" Harry said.
"She said, Dogs of the Keldryians don't know their own enemies." Jakar glared. "It was quite rude, that was the clean version."
"Have you ever heard of them."
"Their dialect of Urthe' yes, but only rumors of them." Jakar replied. Harry un-muted the signal.
"Ok, so how do we know you are who you say you are."
"Look at my coloring do I look red to you." Chanzi smirked causing more laughter on her own bridge. "There are those who serve the emperor and those who don't. I'm not here for a history lesson for you, I am here looking for my Commandant and his ship." She then leaned back in her chair and picked at her teeth with a claw. "He disappeared along this course heading toward the Vernandi System. I'm sure you have heard of it."
"Vaguely," Harry said recalling seeing it on a star chart. It was outside of their borders by several light-years and was known a being a major trading hub for several non-aligned worlds. "What makes you think he came this way."
"Commandant Skarr'a has an affinity for Doryik Vodka, he has not the patience to wait for it." Chanzi smirked. "We have not heard from him in at least a week, we have come looking for him." She leaned forward towards the screen. "Unless you P'trokia have captured his vessel for some reason."
"We are not in the business of taking prisoners unless given a reason." Harry replied flatly.
"Then grant me permission to follow his trail into your space." Chanzi said.
"You have got to be kidding, no." Harry smirked.
"Then we are at an impasse," Chanzi replied. "And as much as I would love to cut my teeth on the infamous Raptor I have better things to be doing."
"I'll offer a compromise, let us look into it and if we find proof that your Commandant Skarr'a came through our space, then maybe I'll feel more inclined to help you."
"That would be appreciated," Chanzi said cutting off the channel.
"Ms. Lu, have you informed Fleet Command of our situation."
"Yes sir." Terri replied. "Encrypted and burst transmission is away."
"Good work Lieutenant." Harry complimented her.
"Thank you sir."
"With that done I want you and Mr. Rivas to get on verifying that story they told us. Contact all the observation posts and remote sensor platforms and lets see if there is a grain of truth to what they are saying. Use the stellar cartography lab, it's not like it gets much use anyway."
Terri nodded and left the bridge with Don following behind her.
A tense thirty minuets had passed.
Jack was impatiently drumming his fingers on his console staring at the three Scutta's on the screen. Boredom was slowly creeping up on him and he leaned back in his chair and stretched and yawned.
"ARRGH how much longer do we have to stay here and stare at them Cap?" Jack whined.
"As long as we need too, Ensign." Harry said pacing around the bridge. "Jakar, earlier you showed familiarity with there language have you ever encountered Urthean's like these before."
"Once a long time ago when I was doing and undercover operation." He replied. "As I said before I'm don't know too much about the other Urthean peoples, as big as their territory is I'm not surprised there isn't other nations inside their empire."
Harry tucked his head in his hand and tapped his chin. "Contact Federation HQ have them access the Keldryian Archives lets see if they have any data on this Kilagra union."
"I'll get right on it, sir." Jakar replied.
"Lu, to bridge." Terri's voice came over the com. "We've found a report of an Urthean ship passing through this region about a week ago."
"Did the sensor scan happen to get an accurate scan of the vessel."
"Yes it does and I already cross-referenced it captain." Don replied over the speaker. "It matches the same hull configuration as the ships sitting out there right now."
"Wow an Urthean who is actually telling the truth for once." Land sneered. "Who would have thought it."
Harry looked a bit relieved. "Send it to my console and get back up here ASAP." Harry replied. "Everyone is on their game today, at least something is going right for once." Harry said going to the captains chair and plopping down in it. "I think I have a solution."
Terri and Rivas arrived back on the bridge and took their stations. "Open hailing frequencies Lieutenant." Harry ordered.
"They're answering," Terri said. "Putting it on screen."
"Gel Chanzi, you are in luck, we have found records of your Commandant's ship passing through our space, illegally. We do have a record of it accruing and I'm transmitting the coordinates to you now." Harry said selecting the portion of data he wanted and transferring it.
"I wish to follow the trail if that is possible."
"I can't do that but if you are willing to board my ship, we will take you as far as we can go, I can't allow your ships to pass into our space unchallenged but I'm not above at least helping you confirm his course." Harry said levelly.
"I am not pleased at this but it is better then nothing." Chanzi replied. "I will agree to do this if you return me to my ship, if not I will make sure my men will make trouble for you."
"You have my word." Harry said. "Unless that is you have reason fear being onboard a Confederation vessel."
"I have committed no crimes against your stupid union." Chanzi snapped. "I have nothing to fear."
"Very well, lower your shields and we'll signal when we're ready to beam you over." Harry said. "And by the way do not come armed."
Chanzi glared at him. "Understood." And the screen went blank.
"Mr. Jakar, please assemble a security team to provide escort for our guest and meet me in transporter room one, Don you have the bridge." Harry said exiting. "And try to find some quarters for her to stay in if you can."
"That won't be a problem sir." Don replied. "I'll get right on it." He said as Harry left.
"Great, inviting the neighbors over for a chat." Land growled. "Lovely."
"It's all a part of the job ensign." Rivas chuckled.
"Yeah well my old job used to be just fly and blast the ever living crap out of guys in ships that didn't look like ours." Land said. "There wasn't any of this … formality."
"You sky jocks are all the same," Rivas smirked. "You should have joined the fleet navy and broaden your horizons a little."
"Commander not to be insulting, but what the hell am I doing here and now." Land said waving his arms to encompass his console with his gesture.
"Correct me if I'm wrong but it looks like your flying a console." Rivas smirked.
"I get no respect around here I swear." Jack sighed.
"Work on getting a bar with that pip and maybe you might some day." Rivas smirked sitting down in the command chair.
"Martinez to bridge." Harry's voice suddenly interrupted. "Helm set a course to the following coordinates I'm sending up there, warp 6 as soon as possible."
"Aye, Aye." Jack replied spinning in his chair and setting to work on his console. After plotting in the coordinates and activating the warp he leaned back in his chair. The stars spun past as the Raptor spun on it's access and then they rushed forward and the deck plates vibrated as the ships engines pushed them into warp.
Jack sighed, this is what he and Terri's night got interrupted for.
It seemed like a total waste, and now they were looking for some supposed missing Commandant. At least if they'd started shooting they would be heading home by now.
The doors to the bridge parted and Land looked over his shoulder and tensed as he saw the female Gel with his Captain.
"If you wish you can sit at the auxiliary console." Harry said. As Jakar squeezed past them his hand on his holster keeping a close eye on Gel Chanzi and two of his men stepped in from the corridor and took up watchful eyes on the Urthean.
"I'd prefer not to for now." Chanzi said in standard.
"Very well." Harry said standing opposite from her near the command chair. "As you can see we're already on our way."
Chanzi looked around the bridge curiously, rows of beads adorning her head fur jangled as she did so.
Jack didn't like the look of her at all. To him she looked like a gang tough from back home. He uniform was hardly that of a typical Gel that they had seen, in fact if it weren't' for the cape and the pants it would be nearly impossible to tell. He couldn't believe Harry was going along with this.
"Do you have a problem with me mongrel?" Chanzi growled at him and Land quickly set his gaze forward.
"No, Sir. No problem at all." Jack said spinning in his chair feigning sincerity.
"If you could give Ensign Land your data chip I'm sure he could lay in the proper course corrections so we can began searching for your lost commandant." Harry said.
Chanzi growled and pulled out a data chip. She walked over to the helm and slammed it none to gently on the console and then got in Jack's face and growled. "You would do well to mind your men better Captain, I would not tolerate such insubordination from mine to a fellow Captain."
Jack winced and tried to keep a blank face as her hot pallid breath washed over him.
"We don't believe in corporal punishment for minor offences." Harry said flatly causing Chanzi to bear her jagged teeth at him and stand back up going back to her place by the captain's chair.
Jack nearly gagged as he scooped up the small data chip and inserted it into the universal transfer device attached to his console. He quickly opened a chat window as he waited for the coordinates to transfer.
Msg To: Terri Lu
Sheesh someone could use a breath mint, her breath smelt like a slaughter house.
He sent the message to Terri and soon heard a quickly caught laugh that ended in a quickly muffled series of snorts from the back of the bridge.
His console beeped. "Ok I've got the coordinates uploaded captain, I'll make the course corrections and put our path on the screen."
"Thank you." Harry said. "Mrs. O'mara give the area a thorough sensor sweep scan."
"Aye, Aye." Michelle replied."
"If you do not mind I would like to monitor her progress Captain Martinez." Chanzi said.
"Be my guest." Harry said. Chanzi walked over to the science station and peered over Michelle's shoulder.
Jack's consoled beeped as he went back to monitoring their course and he acknowledged the message.
Terri-Lu Maybe Urthe' guys find that sexy. It doesn't look like we're going to pick up where we left off =(. It's already 0200 and I'm exhausted.
Jack Land No problem. I'm getting pretty bushed myself. There's always the next time…
Terri-Lu 3 Yes.
He glanced over his shoulder and saw Terri cast a smile in his direction as she talked with her paw to her ear bud.
Jack felt a nice warm and fuzzy feeling. Terri was definitely a find in a million. He'd known a lot of girls but she was almost perfect for him. She was witty, intelligent and liked a lot of the same things he did. Not to mention she was probably more drop dead gorgeous then most of his previous girls. However strangely enough he didn't see her outside appearance, although admittedly when they first met he felt like he'd become entranced by her. He was certain they maybe had something more deeper, he was just hoping she felt the same way.
He glanced down at his console as another beep chimed. "Captain, we're approaching the other boarder of our space, we will be in non aligned space in the next few minuets."
"Understood, Ensign. Steady as she goes." Harry said. "Any luck yet Gel Chanzi."
Chanzi growled and ran a paw through her hair. "His warp signature is staying true to his usual course so far, it looks like he came through here, I'm not seeing anything to suggest he may have been intercepted."
"That's better then nothing, we'll go as far as another twenty light years before we turn around." Harry said. "If you want more you will have to go through the appropriate channels."
Chanzi sneered. "Understood, Captain. What I don't understand is that this is very unlike him to just disappear like this."
"Captain." Terri suddenly spoke up. "Incoming transmission from Starbase 186, it's Captain Stiles sir."
"On screen." Harry said.
"Hello, Commander," Stiles said his image appearing on the viewer. "What is your situation?"
"We located the Urthean ships but they do not appear to be they typical kind of Urtheans we are used to dealing with. They say one of their ships went missing while crossing through our ships."
"I read the report Commander," Stiles said. "You are planning on returning when the trail gets cold."
"Yes we have to return Gel Chanzi back to her ship and we'll be heading back to base." Harry replied.
"Gel Chanzi." Stiles said addressing her. "I hope you are planning on not planning any further intrusions into our space without going through proper channels. If you do so again, unannounced it will be a hostile act. Regardless if you are not a part of the Urthean Emperium, your people are still considered hostile."
"I understand." Chanzi growled. "I will consider that the next time one of your vessels ends up stranded or lost in OUR space."
"Uh oh." Michelle said. "Sirs, if I may?" She said speaking up.
"What is it, lieutenant?" Harry asked.
"I've just lost Commandant Skarr'a's warp signature." She said.
"What are you talking about?" Chanzi hissed walking over to observe the readings.
Michelle to a deep breath. "The signature comes to an end about 5000 kilometers dead ahead. I've already checked for course corrections and I can't seem to locate it."
"Scan it again!" Chanzi snapped.
"I already have, my apologies but the trail has terminated." Michelle said.
"Ensign, drop us out of warp and do lets to a thorough scan for any debris."
"Aye Aye, dropping us out of warp." Jack said disengaging the warp engines. The ship slipped out of warp space and slowed to a stop as Jack fired impulse to reduce their momentum.
Michelle did a few more thorough scans and then shook her head negative. "I'm not detecting anything. All I am detecting is a few strange radio transmissions from a couple of uncharted star systems not far from here. That's it though."
"Well it seems like the trails went cold." Harry said. "I've fulfilled my end of the bargain."
"Very well." Chanzi growled disappointed.
"If you want us to help you in your search, I can put you through to Starfleet HQ." Stiles said patiently. "They would be able to assist you better in finding your missing commander. However, I assure you they will want to talk to your superiors as well."
"Your paranoia is rather irritating." Chanzi snapped. "I understand it though, return me to my ship as you have promised." She said turning to Harry.
Harry nodded and ordered Jack to reverse their course.
"I assure you the Confederation would be more then happy to assist you in your search." Stiles said on the screen. "However you need to go through the proper channels, Commander Martinez has assisted you to the fullest extent he is allowed. I hope that you consider this in your future dealings with the Confederation."
"I may." Chanzi said with a tone that suggested she didn't. "I'll speak with your superiors, for what little good it will do."
Several Hours later.
Jack and Terri walked back toward the habitat ring together. Terri was a bit refreshed having gotten a few hours of sleep before they returned to Starbase 186. Jack, on the other hand, felt like a walking zombie and the inside of his head seemed to be buzzing.
"What time is it?" Jack asked monotone as he shuffled towards his quarters.
"0530 in the morning." Terri yawned. "Feeling pretty beat?"
Jack nodded, his eyes even felt like they hurt.
They approached his quarters and he stumbled into them blearily.
"What you aren't going to say goodnight?" Terri said with mock offence.
Jack turned and smiled a little. "I'm really, really, really fried."
"I can't tell." Terri laughed. "Want to have breakfast tomorrow?"
"Make it lunch and you got a date." Jack yawned. "I really hate these all niters."
"Lunch it is then." She smiled. "Aren't you forgetting something?" She said as he started back towards the inside of his quarters.
Jack gave her a quizzical look and then walked up to her and gave her deep kiss. They stayed in that embrace for a few beats before parting. "I'm going to bed now ok babe?"
Terri blushed. "See you later. Sweet dreams."
"As long as you are in them they will be." Jack said. "Night."
"Night." Terri smiled as he stepped inside and the doors shut.
Unfortunately with her brief rest she was fairly awake. Not to mention she had Jakar's Ta'katsu martial arts class in an hour or so Her combadge suddenly beeped.
"Terri, I hate to interrupt." Jenna Rydel's voice said. "We're having some computer problems again. Half the damn systems operations files have just like taken a wild flight into cybernetic oblivion."
"You have got to be kidding me…" Terri groaned.
"Sorry EL Tee." Jenna said apologetically. "We're probably going to need all the help we can get."
"Fine.." Terri sighed. "Let me go grab a coffee and I'll be right back down."
She sighed irritated again, the ship was nosing its way into her time for the second time in twenty-four hours.
Jack woke up, bleary-eyed he checked the time and it was well past noon the next day. He wondered why Terri hadn't called him, maybe something came up. He wiped the drool of the side of his muzzle and sat up in his bed. He walked over to his toilet and turned the shower on and hit the com switch that was showing a stored message.
"Hey Jack it's Terri, something came up and I had to go fix something with the Raptor's computers, so I had to pull a little O.T. I'll see you later ok?" Terri's voice said over the speaker.
Jack smirked and hopped into the shower. It was too bad they couldn't meet up right away but perhaps he could log some game time while waiting. It wasn't like he had anything else to do.
Afterwards he replicated a hamburger and turned on the video game console, and logged onto his game. He put on his headset and once again the screen showed who all was on and of course he least favorite person was on.
"Don't you have better things to do?" 2hot's voice said in his ear. "I thought I chased you off earlier."
"Had something important to attend to." Land replied.
"So I guess you are wanting another ass kicking?" 2hot asked sending him an invite to the match she was currently playing.
"You bet." Land said accepting it.
He played for a good straight ten minutes and managed to come in third place for points with 2hot4u in the lead. Another match began and Land was familiar with the level they were playing and quickly guided his character t a hiding spot. The last few matches in this level he noticed that 2hot had a tendency to head up an isolated spot in the map. He quickly climbed up to a tower and switched to his Targetable Rocket Launcher. He counted off a few seconds and he saw movement in that corner of the map from his vantage point. He targeted the Area and quickly fired a missile. A few moments passed and the missile hit its target and the HUD flashed that he had indeed hit 2hot and killed her.
"Lucky shot." She growled over the head set. "Enjoy your victory while it lasts." "You have no idea where I'm…" He stopped as he saw his character suddenly lurch forward with the shaft of an arrow protruding through his neck.
"Don't think you are the only one who knows about that hiding place." 2hot giggled. "Have a nice fall to the ground."
"Yeah, yeah I'll see you when I re-spawn." Jack sighed.
"Incoming message from Lt. Terri Lu." The computer announced.
Jack quickly hit the mute switch on his mic, then hit the acknowledgment button on his coffee table. "Yeah, babe what is it?"
"What are you up to?" Terri asked.
"Not a whole lot, yourself?"
"I just got up from a nap not that long ago." She yawned. "What time is it?"
"Babe you have a wall clock." Jack chuckled and then grimaced as he got taken out by a sniper shot from his hated enemy. He suddenly winced realizing what he said came out more snide then he had intended.
"Yeah in my living room." Terri said a little irritated at the com.
Jack winced as his on screen persona suddenly got garroted by 2hot4u and waited to respawn yet again. By this point he had noticed in-game the other players had noticed what was going on and decided it was best to stay out of it.
"I just don't want to get out of bed. Just right at the moment.." Terri replied.
"Uh.. huh." Jack said not actually missing as he missed a shot.
"You know I wouldn't mind some company." Terri said a bit irritated.
"Ok." Jack replied once again getting fragged.
"I'm naked and ready for you." She said with a droll tone and much annoyance.
"In about five minuets.." Jack said absentmindedly as his character respawned.
"Oh you are fucking unbelievable!" Terri moaned. "Are you playing your stupid game again?"
Jack suddenly snapped out of his trance and shut the game off. "Do what now? Sorry I was busy with something!"
"Uh huh." Terri chided him.
"I'm serious you have my full attention." Jack said taking his headset off and tossing it onto the couch.
"Seriously babe, I'm sorry what did you want?"
"Well I thought maybe since we're both off duty, rested and there are no pressing emergencies maybe you get your tail over here and we finish where we left of the other night, but since your sooo damn busy….."
"No it's not that it's OW!" Jack said jumping up and slamming his shin on his coffee table and then making a whine when it started to hurt.
"Now what did you do?"
"Shit nothing, I'll be right over." Jack said rubbing his leg. "Just hurt myself."
"Hmph serves you right." Terri said. "I think I can forgive you if you can get over here in five minutes think you can limp over here that fast."
"For you yes." Jack replied limping towards the door.
Jack and Terri walked along the promenade after getting a late lunch after their coupling. They were both thankful they hadn't heard the alarm klaxon during. A rare blessing that they were scantily granted.
"So what do you want to do the rest of the day?" Terri asked.
"Well, while I'm recovering." Jack snickered. "Want to catch a movie at the holosuite."
"Sure that sounds like fun, is it your pick this time."
"Yeah that does, can we turn the audience off." Terri smiled. "Just have it to ourselves?"
"Sounds like a plan to me." Jack said playfully swatting at her head fur. He then looked up and spotted Harry approaching from the other way. "Hey skip, what's up."
Harry looked over and nodded. "Not much just taking care of a few things. What are you two up too?" He seemed to be in a better mood he was even smiling a little bit.
"We're going to go to the holosuite and enjoy a little bit of this time off." Terri said. "What are you doing."
"Helping with the Aether's repairs." Harry replied. "Or at least getting ready too. If you wouldn't mind Terri, they could use some help getting their main control systems back online. Do you think you could swing by?"
"Of course." Terri replied. "When do they want me to start?"
"Anytime you can, they need all the help they can get." Harry said earnestly.
"I could go now, I don't really have anything super important going on at the moment." Terri shrugged. "We're just being bums."
"So you are available now?" Harry asked.
Terri thought about it for a moment. "We'll if I'm going to work I'll need a bit of time to get changed.."
"Thank you." Harry said thankfully. "Contact Captain De'Sol and she'll fill you in on the details."
"No problem Commander." Terri nodded.
"Thank you." Harry replied. "I'll let you get on your way."
Land rolled his eyes and sighed. "I guess I can help to if they need it that bad."
"Well it probably wouldn't hurt if you at least swung by." Harry said walking past them. "It's not like they don't need our help."
"Yeah yeah, well so much for the movie." Land sighed.
Terri gave him a slight slug to the ribs. "We'll have plenty of time for that later, it won't kill you to lend a helping hand."
"Ow." Jack protested. "It may not kill me but it's already hurt me."
"Shush," Terri smirked. "Computers are my thing, it shouldn't take me too long, maybe a few hours at the most."
"Well, do you need help?" Jack asked.
"You could assist, just help me with tools, hell you might learn something." Terri chuckled.
"Ok." Jack shrugged. "I can do that."
"Then lets head home, meet in about forty-five minuets and we'll head over there." Terri said.
Jack escorted her to her quarters and they kissed and parted.
Terri got quickly changed and rounded up her tool kit and noticed she still had some time to kill. She already knew what Jack was doing, anyone who was crew on the Raptor had developed the habit of switching outfits and getting into clothing really fast due to the nature of their jobs. She had a good idea what he was probably up too and she walked over to a wall panel and tapped it. Closet opened and she reached in and pulled out a controller and head set and set down on her couch and told the computer to activate the wall screen.
A familiar log in screen to a game popped on and she put her headset on and cleared her throat a few times and sent in a message. She altered her voice slightly and opened a message window after seeing Jack, was online. She chuckled to herself, it was funny that the player that he detested so much, was someone he already knew. It was fun to irritate him, mainly because it made him get off the game.
"Hey bozo are you online?" She said in a voice slightly different than her own.
"Yeah what do you want?" Jack growled in her ear.
Terri hit the mute button and chuckled, then switched it back on. "To kick your ass again what do you think."
"Fine I'll join whatever game you are on, bring it."
"Oh you bet I will." Terri smirked. "One match, I'm a bit pressed for time and just want a quick game."
"Fine by me." Jack growled.
She joined a game getting ready to start and leaned back.
Maybe someday she'd tell him.
But where was the fun in that?