S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Bubbles: The Adventure Begins!

Posted on Friday July 31st, 2020 @ 15:35 hours by Mayterial Droz & Alexandria Farron

Mission: Safe Passage
Location: Various
Timeline: MD03 1730 Hours
3098 words - 6.2 OF Standard Post Measure

Wherever he was, Bubbles the Cat was not enjoying his stay. The male two-leg he'd been forced to stay with did not like him, and had always been quick to close the door, preventing Bubbles from exploring his surroundings. It was boring being locked in a dull room when there were so many interesting scents and sounds coming from outside. But then the male two-leg left, taking his bag of strange fur-coverings with him. Then Bubbles was all alone, with just the empty room, and a dish of food that he didn't really like. Near his wits end, Bubbles hatched a desperate plan to make his escape. The next time the door opened... well, he didn't care who was there in his way. He was going to go for it. He needed an adventure!

Who knows how long the wait had been. But eventually, the door did open, with a female two-leg cautiously peeking in. She looked friendly, but it didn't matter. Bubbles' mind was on his adventure and not potential tummy rubs. With a meow of daring, he sped right through her legs and was out the door.

Meanwhile, Alexandria had been in a weird place all day. She'd slept well, and had woken up, warm and cozy in Kari's arms. The Trill had even greeted her with her correct name, which had been nice. The alarm clock buzzing, reminding her that she had a work shift to report to wasn't so nice. Normally it was easy for Alexandria to focus and shut out distractions, but now there were so many... Kari, FantasyCon, finishing her cosplay, and of course her upcoming first date with her wife. But she had to focus! If she made a mistake, or drew the ire of Captain May, she might not make it to shore leave on Betazed. It was tough working for pirates.

After what felt like a long day, Alexandria's shift finally ended. Unfortunately there was nothing fun planned. She had to do laundry, which was always a stressful affair, for several reasons. First, she had to guard her clothes. She was, after all, on a ship full of people who thieved for a living. Second, her clothes required a variety of care and wash conditions, or else they would fade, or shrink. Most of her clothes barely fit as it was, so shrinkage was not an option. What this all translated to was guarding several small loads, instead of washing everything in one go. Needless to say, laundry was an all-evening affair.

Carrying her basket full of laundry, Alexandria hummed a tune from Star Crusader, preparing herself mentally for the coming ordeal. She rounded the corner, and saw it. Saw something she wished she would never see again.

It was a cat. A fucking cat. Captain May had promised her there were no cats! She knew that whole hallucinogenic drug scare had been fake. She'd known those cats were real. And now they were back... and they were coming to get her.

Bubbles the Cat stopped short as he came across the female two-leg, carrying the basket of fur coverings. He couldn't understand what it was with these creatures and their fur coverings. Was their own not sufficient? Bubbles looked at her cautiously. This two-leg smelled nervous. Were there other dangerous two-legs around? Bubbles didn't smell any. Maybe be if he rolled around and let out a cute mew she would loosen up and give him tummyrubs! That tactic had always worked with his old best friend, the little female two-leg he had not seen in quite a long time. He took a chance and did so.

Bubbles' plan did not have the desired effect.

Instead of calming down and petting him, the nervous female two-leg let out a blood curdling scream! She flung her basket of fur coverings and rah away from him! Clearly that one was not good at smelling threats.

Bubbles considered chasing after her, or running away to continue on his adventure, but the pile of fur coverings called to him. Rolling around in them sounded like fun!

Mayterial her feet had become restless, she had taken that as a sign she had to take a walk, she figured she'd check in with some of the people around the boat. Her first stop was going to be the mess hall, see if there were any passengers she could help put their minds at ease. She had taken a more thorough interest in the passengers since giving the last one a heart attack.

Her quiet ruminations had been violently interrupted by a wail that sent shivers down her spine. The scream had come from the laundry room, May had set off in a sprint and made her way over there, down the last corridor she bumped into Alexandria, "Wow! Hold up! What's wrong?" She saw the look of fear and panic in her eyes and knew it had to have been her that screamed so loudly and fiercely.

Alexandria eyed the captain only momentarily, her expression exuding pure crazy. "You! This is all your fault! Now they're after me again! Waaaah!" She yelled, wailing with fear and hysteria as she broke away from May and continued to flee down the corridor. For someone who was probably the laziest member of the crew, Alexandria was incredibly fast when she wanted to be.

Mayterial hesitated, came to a halt from her sprint. She wondered who it was that was chasing Alexandria, and how the navigator had come to believe that it was her fault. She reached behind her and grabbed the small phaser pistol that she had bought with Seh'tan on the starbase before quietly moving forward. She should probably call on him, she shouldn't go in there alone. Then again, with Alex in play it could be anything from Dust Bunnies to a rabid Nausicaan in there. Her grip on the phaser tightened as she approached the doors.

Bubbles had rolled around in the two-legged's furs for a bit before realising that they weren't really warm. The best thing about a place like this was when the clothes were all warm and toasty. He decided that he'd have to go and see where the two-legged had sprinted of to and get them to throw their furs in the loud machines so they could get nice and warm. With that goal in mind Bubbles started for the door and went around the corner confidently.

Still gathering her thoughts and courage Mayterial was about to jump around the corner and stun whatever was in there, when a cat came walking around it, all quiet confidence. "Scram, get away you." She hissed at the feline. Her body was still pumping with adrenalin, having to reassert herself in order to get the courage again in order to jump and fire. Then it dawned on her. The last time Alexandria thought there was a cat on board she had spent the entire night in her quarters. She turned to look at Bubbles as he confidently trotted down the corridor, "Are you fucking kidding me?" She let out a relieved laugh and sigh.

She looked inside the laundry room, just to be sure there wasn't a fuming Nausicaan in there, and found it completely empty, except for a pile of clothes on the floor, presumably Alex's. She stepped in and saw her jeans on top, jeans she thought she had lost some time ago. Actually jeans she had lost since Alex had spent a night in her room. She rolled her eyes and grabbed them, that girl needed some social skills. She grabbed everything and threw it in the washer. It all seemed like non-delicate stuff, and switched it on one of the general washing cycles, "forty degrees aught to do it."

With that good deed done she stuffed the phaser back in her belt and went out of the room in the direction of where she saw the cat go, it was still strutting down the corridor with calm confidence and it was really rather easy to go and pick it up. Now to find Alexandria and explain the whole thing.

Bubbles mewed at the one who'd picked him up and cradled him close. Yes, he wanted to continue on his adventure, but snuggles were the next best thing. Plus he could've sworn that he heard the loud machines start up. Would this nice female two-leg take him back there once the furs were warm? Bubbles would be her best friend forever if she did!

Meanwhile, Alexandria was most definitely not feeling that she and Captain May were best friends. She'd probably been hauling cats all along. How could Alexandria be so dumb to fall for the denials, explanations and outright lies. The last time it had been hallucinations. Had the whole crew been in on it? It was all starting to make sense. None of them could be trusted.

Wait... was Kari in on it too?! Alexandria thought with alarm. Perhaps Captain May had sent her to flush her out of her secret hidey hole that day. Maybe Alexandria had gotten too close to finding the secret cargo hold of cats! If so, that meant that she could never go back there. It wasn't safe. But where was safe? Certainly not her quarters. A cat had already gotten in there once before, it could happen again! Where could she go? Where was completely sealed and safe?

Alexandria knew of only one place. The shuttle. It was her fallback panic room. She'd made emergency plans to steal it in case Captain May tried to have her killed. But a cat could do the job just as easily, and arouse fewer suspicions...

Oh no... Alexandria thought with horror as the she made the connection. Alert Condition Red. She rounded a corner and just barely sidestepped a female deckhand in time to avoid a violent collision, only shoulder checking her into a bulkhead instead. There was a loud clatter, followed by a string of nasty expletives but Alexandria continued running. Her life depended on it!

Mayterial slowly continued to walk towards the shuttle bay, there had been a concerned memo from the quartermaster as they noticed that Alex was checking into the type one shuttle rather often. May had figured it was some sort of safe haven for her, just like the far off corner that the Engineer had commented on. It wasn't doing any harm so she just allowed it to happen, besides, she wasn't going to be able to leave the shuttle bay without first dropping out of warp. She absentmindedly patted the cat as she came around the corner of the shuttle bay looking in the direction of the shuttlepod, "Miss Farron, can you please come out here? The cat won't hurt you. I've got it under control."

Alexandria had not expected the captain to find her so soon. Was she that predictable? Or was the crew spying on her? No matter. Her time was up. As soon as she opened the hatch, Captain May would unleash her cat assassin once again, and it would run in and leap on her. Anaphylaxis would then set in, and without treatment, her airway could close up and then her heart would stop. She knew what it felt like, it wasn't fun. But this time no one would treat her. She wouldn't wake back up.

The navigator clutched herself nervously. There was nowhere to go. She was trapped. She should've known that Droz would still have her killed. Almost all of the other licensed crew members that had participated in the last operation had 'left' the ship. She thought she had survived the purge.

She was wrong.

"You don't have to do this, Captain..." Alexandria shouted, into the shuttle comms, pleading. Though she was hiding from the viewports but it was clear from her voice echoing in the shuttlebay that she was in the shuttle. "I would never betray you. You don't have to kill me! Not like this! Just shoot me if you have to and make it clean, but please, not the cat! Anything but the cat!"

As Alexandria heard herself she knew she was doomed. It was just like in the holovids. Every criminal crew had one. She was the weasel who'd fucked up and was now begging her for life. But the weasel never made it out alive, they always got their just deserts in a really bad way. It was going to be death by cat...

"Kill you? Why would I want to kill you?" Mayterial sighed and looked down at the cat, "We got a really sweet deal on ferrying this cat to Betazed. The First Mate was supposed to keep it in his room. But you know, he found better employment. It must've sneaked out somehow when one of the deckhands was asked to feed it." She idly stroked the cat in her arm, like an evil genius from one of those old holo-vids.

Alexandria could briefly be seen peeking out one of the shuttles view ports. Very briefly. "I don't wanna pet your kitty, Captain May! Go away! I have laundry to do!" Alexandria called out. There was no use begging for her life, it seemed. She didn't even know what she was saying anymore. She was just stalling for time, until she could think up a new plan. Alexandria didn't really believe what May had said, not even for a second. Pirates didn't ferry cats. And she doubted that the former first officer had found better employment. He'd probably found out he was working for a pirate, and well... that was it.

"Oh, don't worry, I threw your bundle in the washers. Should be done in about an hour or two." Mayterial petted the cat a few more times before giving a bit of a sigh, "Are you really so allergic that it would kill you?" She always wondered how much of the words that left Alexandria's mouth were true and how much of it was exaggeration, "I didn't think it would be that bad, you're a strong, young woman. Must be horrible to live in fear of that."

Bubbles the Cat didn't really know what was going on, but that didn't matter. He purred with contentment as the nice lady two-leg continued to pet him. He lifted his head and rubbed it against her hand in hopes that she would scratch behind his ears.

Alexandria, however, was far from content. Her fear of May and her evil cat minion evaporated upon hearing about her laundry, and was quickly replaced with horror and outrage.

"You what?!" Her voice screeched loudly through the intercom. Scared out of his wits by the sudden sound, Bubbles the Cat leapt from May's arms faster than she could clutch him, and he skittered away toward the nearest hidey hole. Meanwhile, the shuttle hatch quickly opened.

"You can't put them on normal cycle, Captain?! Don't you know anything about clothes? They'll shrink!" Alexandria continued to yell, though now not through the intercom. She raced for the door, and for a moment it almost looked like she was going to tackle May. With reflexes as quick as a cat's she feinted right, then shifted her weight left at the last second to try and dash past May.

As Alexandria did her feint Mayterial wanted to get out of the way, having no interest in body blocking the woman she stepped aside. Just a second too late that the initial feint was to bring her off balance and now had lined her up perfectly for a head-on collision. The two collided violently and went to the ground together, "Holy shit, Alex, what the fuck?!" She shouted as they crashed into the floor plating.

The doors to the shuttlebay parted and Kari sneaked in, looking intently on the tricorder in her hands, the damn cat should be here. She couldn't believe it snuck out on her. She couldn't believe it had taken this long to narrow down its location. Apparently a lot of electronics interfered with a simple bio-scan searching for a Terran feline. As she stepped into the shuttlebay the cat rushed passed her again, much in the same way that it had done when she had come for his daily feeding and playtime. It wasn't like she was being a bad cat parent either. She had brought special snacks and one of those fluffy things on a stick this time around, "Shit..." She wanted to immediately follow but spotted Alexandria and Mayterial sprawled on the floor and had to do a double-take to figure out what exactly was going on, "What the...?"

Alexandria's head throbbed, and her thoughts swam in a hazy goo of confusion. She'd miscalculated somehow. Captain May had been too quick... how could anyone be that quick? One split-second she'd thought the feint was going to work, and then BAM! Her head really hurt... and she could barely breathe. Mostly because May was on top of her. As darkness crept in at the edges of her vision she saw it... an angel in the distance. Oh wait. Not an angel. It was Kari.

"Kari..." Alexandria said weakly, through labored breaths. May's weight on top of her was making her artificial lungs spasm. "I'm.... a goner." She wheezed again. "But plz... save my clothes. Save them!" Another wheeze. "And watch out for.... assassin cat..." Then the black closed in and she passed out.

Kari just stood there for a moment, staring at how Alexandria was struggling against Mayerial her body blocking her from getting up. There was probably a fairly amusing story behind this whole thing but for the moment there was just confusion on Kari's face.

Bubbles strode down the corridor, in search of another adventure. He'd liked being petted by the nice lady two-leg, but the situation in that other place had gotten much too aggressive for him. He didn't have a clue what had happened back there, but he was just a cat, looking to do fun cat things. He was confident that there would be plenty of new interesting places, and other nice two-legs to pet him. He just had to find them.

"Hey therrre little buddy!" A voice said from behind him.

Bubbles turned, and saw a big male-two leg with a very furry face and a hand stretched down toward him. He was big but he smelled very calm and friendly. Would he finally get tummyrubs? Bubbles let out a friendly mew and scampered over to find out.


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