It is most likely that all sane, living creatures have at least one fear. With the possible exception of Klingons, remember, I DID say SANE! And that is NOT a bad thing! Fear or it's milder cousin Caution keeps one from undue danger and it is only when that fear grows so big that it begins to interfere with a person's life that a problem arises. Living and working in space, brings with it MANY very real "fears", the fear of death being the main one and that fear breeds healthy caution. Other fears are not so "Logical" although for those afflicted with them, they are just as relevant. Humans seem to think that "Facing" their fears is a good thing BUT I as a felinoid am NOT convinced of that! The way most of Nature's Children are taught is RUN AWAY AND LIVE ANOTHER DAY!
I try to keep an informal smell on the station. In other words, I do NOT require my crew to come to attention when addressing me or even call me "Sir" unless they wish to. One visitor we had to FI-9, a military historian, equated it to what was the norm on ships called Submarines of mid-20th century Earth. Because of the cramped and difficult conditions of those vessels, the usual "Spit and Polish" was ignored. Crew were not expected to salute or even come to attention when the captain addressed them and a less than crisp uniform was not noticed. Of course the captain expected, even demanded that when he gave an order it was carried out quickly and efficiently! I think this "We Are All In This Together, I Have Got Your Tail" mind set works well day to day, as long as everyone knows when to bring out the polish!
This is why I was so confused by the demeanor of a recent transfer to the station as I held my usual getting to know the new personnel meeting with him. Lieutenant Commander Reginald Katz's Service Record was VERY average. There were no citations or reprimands in it although all his superiors agreed he was a "good" and "capable" officer. He had graduated from the Academy AFTER the war so he saw no action in it. He had served on only one vessel, a small scout assigned to star mapping missions.
We met in my office after the end of his first day on duty. From the start he seemed nervous, on edge. Jacobs would have described him, "As nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs", she had to explain that painful Human saying to me. I invited him into my office and asked him to sit. Instead of settling into the chair like most humans do, he remained on the edge as if, like a felinoid he had a tail the chair had not been designed to accommodate. I tried to lighten the mood by commenting that with a last name like Katz and how it sounds, he was lucky his parents did not employ a sense of humor in naming him. He seemed not to understand until I said, "Your first name could have been Tom or if you were female, Kitty!" His reaction to my joke was warm at best. I figure he might have heard such things before and was just being polite. As the meeting progressed he became more and more nervous and nearly leaped out of his pelt (Jumped Out Of His Skin, Sef) when Security-Chief poked his tiger stripped head in to inform me he had some data I had asked him to collect. "Forgive me D'Sefet-Commander! I was unaware you were busy.", Security-Chief says. Figuring my meeting with Lieutenant Commander Katz is almost over and needing to talk with Security-Chief I say, "No problem Security-Chief, come in! I want you to meet our newest Engineerrr Lieutenant Commanderrr Reginald Katz." Lieutenant Commander Katz does NOT make eye contact with Security-Chief but he does nod his head in recognition. Security-Chief makes a slight bow and says, "Have you FINALLY decided to replace that FEMALE then D'Sefet-Commander?" "No! Commanderrr Jacobsss IS ssstill Chief Engineerrr! Lieutenant Commanderrr Katz isss new memberrr of herrr Engineering team.", I answer much to the disappointment of Security-Chief. Then addressing Lieutenant Commander Katz, I conclude, "Well, I know you are off duty and I sssuspect you have had, how do Humansss put it? A Long Day? I know Commanderrr Jacobsss can be bit demanding (Security-Chief nods his head in agreement). So I will not keep you any longerrr. Rememberrr, as you can sssee, my doorrr is alwaysss open!" "Thank you Commander.", Lieutenant Commander Katz answers as he backs out of my office and hurries away. "What IS wrong with that Human?", Security-Chief asks, "I have NOT seen a Human so jumpy since my last Kzintosh Barbecue!" I think he WAS joking!
After Security-Chief and I conclude our business, I head to Sick Bay to pick up Sarrah. Since we got back from Feresa I have had occasion to wonder if Jacobs had been correct in questioning whether or not I had brought back the right Kzinrret? Our relationship has, at the same time gotten more simple AND more complex! She has moved into my quarters and we spend the nights together. However there has been no ch'rowling (having sex/mate), not that there has NOT been opportunities and in the eyes of the Kzinti Sarrah WAS given to me as a mate but I am from the old Feresa where mating came AFTER your Pledging Ceremony. For the non-felinoids a Pledging Ceremony is a simple marriage. It can be just between the male and female or it can be a family event. Basically it consists of the male saying to the female, "You are my mate." three times. If the female answers back with, "You are my mate." three times then the couple are considered mates. I have thought about beginning the ceremony a number of times but after what Sarrah had endured in Kzinti society I want to give her as much time as possible to "find" herself.
Reaching Sick Bay, I find Sarrah and Doctor Selar busy. After a few moments they finish and Sarrah says, "Sorry Commander. Selar-Doctor was helping me with a problem I was having in my studies." "Not problem Kitten.", I reply, "Take all time you need! I know I can not help with them!"
Before Sarrah and I leave, remembering the strange actions of Lieutenant Commander Katz.
"Have you had chance to examine ourrr new Engineerrr Lieutenant Commanderrr Katz?", I ask Doctor Selar. "Yes, I had to certify he was fit for duty when he reported aboard Commander.", she answers, "Why?" "I just had my Greeting Meeting with him and he ssseemed . . ., well . . ., bit more nervousss than he ssshould have been.", I explain. "I shouldn't tell you this, it is a violation of Doctor/Patient Privilege but since you have seen it, Lieutenant Commander Katz suffers from Ailurophobia.", Selar explains. Not knowing what that is but gathering it is some sort of disease I respond, "I am sssorry to hearrr that. Is there cure?" "I believe Lieutenant Commander Katz thinks by being assigned here he will find a "cure"", Selar answers, then sensing my puzzlement continues, "Ailurophobia, is the irrational fear of cats, felines and/or felinoids Commander. Lieutenant Commander Katz has one of the worst cases I have ever seen!" "Why would he ask to be transferred to a post where he knew he would not only be around felinoids but be under the command of one!", Sarrah asks unbelievingly? "Yesss, that seemsss bit illogical to me also.", I add. Getting an eyebrow rise from the good Doctor for my "illogical" statement, she answers, "Humans believe if the confront their fears that they can over come them. Most Illogical. If you think his fear will be a problem I can recommend his reassignment and you can transfer him off the station Commander." Being a member of a species that admires a person for being a good fighter, I say, "No, let usss give him chance to find hisss cure, as long as it doesss not interfere with hisss dutiesss."
Things go by peaceably for a few days then . . .
Lieutenant Commander Katz and I are again sitting in my office and like the first time he is on the edge of his seat. "I'm sorry Commander.", he begins. There has been a problem! "I know about yourrr Ailurophobia.", I say, adding, "I admire yourrr efforts to conquerrr it but . . ." Lieutenant Commander Katz nervously interrupts, "Licking this is VERY important to me Commander, you see my cousin, a great guy, has been like a father to me, is a Star Freighter Captain and has a Pa'UR as a mate and I don't want the fact that when I am around them I want to crawl under a rock and die to cause problems between us!" I wonder how licking his trouble will help but I assume Humans like Felines will use their tongue on something painful. Then Remembering, I ask, "Thisss would not be Capt'n Don of S.S. Hanford would it?" "Yea! Have you met I'Aisha and him?",Lieutenant Commander Katz asks, adding, "I'Aisha is a great engineer and is teaching their half Human/ half Caitian son about engineering and they have the cutest little kit of their own. I'm so ashamed how I feel when I'm around them!" The information about a half Caitian Kit interests me. I was unaware Humans and Caitians could successfully breed so I try and scratch a little deeper, "So Capt'n Don hasss olderrr Caitian Kit? That isss half Human asss well?" "Yea, his parents were apparently killed in the war and he was living on a mining colony, New Wheeling with a Vulcan couple. Don was contracted to return him . . . Tom to his Caitian Grandfather on Cait but when they got there the Grandfather would not except his daughter's "Halfling" so Don and I'Aisha decided to raise him themselves. I gather Tom's father was a Human Starfleet officer, missing in action. His mother was a Caitian civilian engineer, taken prisoner by the Dominion and presumed dead. Given his background, Tom dreams of becoming a Starfleet Engineer and tries to ask me questions about my job when the families get together. Even though Tom looks more Human than Feline, his face has that angular appearance of a feline, with the nose and mouth combined like a cat and he has whiskers and a stubby tail! All of which just gives me the WILLIES!" Not knowing what "Willies" are, I ask, "How old isss Tom?" "Well let's see . . . He was between five and six when Don and I'Aisha got him . . . I guess that would put him around nine or ten now. I'm sorry Commander! Give me a Anti-Mater Intermix Equation and I am a whiz but dates and ages are difficult!", Lieutenant Commander Katz answers. "You have the right to remain silent Reg!", a voice from the door interrupts. Jacobs enters and continues, "Security-Chief told me you were here. "AND did Security-Chief tell you WHY Lieutenant Commanderrr Katz isss here?", I ask. "He said Reg activated the Force Field on his Holding Cell while he was in it.", Jacobs answers. "AND while trying to deactivate Force Field, ssshorted out controls leaving Security-Chief stuck in Cell for OVERrr an hour!", I add as Jacobs erupts in waves of laughter. Seeing that I am NOT similarly amused she says, "Come on Sef! Tell me that you have NOT wanted to throw that Walking Orange Hairball into a Cell and loose the key more than once eh!" "WELL . . . Maybe once orrr twice eh.", I say, mocking her as my tail indicates my amusement. "It wasn't Security-Chief's fault Commander!", Lieutenant Commander Katz says, "It is just those Kzinti are SO damn intimidating! I panicked!" "REG!", Jacobs says, trying to protect him, "There is no need to go into details!" "I know about Lieutenant Commanderrr Katz's Ailurophobia.", I inform Jacobs. "Well then you know it isn't Reg's fault then!", Jacobs, although surprised, defends. "Tell that to Security-Chief Commander! By the time I got him out he was mad enough to chew through Transparent Aluminum!", Lieutenant Commander Katz says. "Maybe, BUT you DID get him out!", Jacobs encourages, "So what do you say Sef? I can smooth things over with Security-Chief!" "Save your breath Commander!", Lieutenant Commander Katz begins, "We all know why we are here! It is just a question of where you can ship me off to, right Commander D'Sefet?" "Do you wish to be transferred?", I ask. "Come on Reg!", Jacobs says, "You don't want a transfer eh! Sef, I need good engineers like him around here!" "I agree.", I begin as a shocked look appears on Lieutenant Commander Katz's face. "BUT . . .", Lieutenant Commander Katz begins. "Lieutenant Commanderrr . . . Reg, when you entered my office I WASss considering transferring you but, asss we talked I noticed something that encourages me to think you just might "Lick" asss you sssaid, yourrr problem." "WHAT?", both Jacobs and Lieutenant Commander Katz ask at the same time. "You might not know Felinoidsss and felinesss in general use non-verbal communication more than we do verbal. Ssso we notice things others might misss. All during ourrr first meeting and at beginning of thisss one you were literally sssitting on edge of your ssseat but look at your-self now! Sssitting deep in that chair, calm and relaxed and I, A CAT, IS still in rrroom! If you can rrrelax in front of me Reg, you can rrrelax around other felinoidsss too!", I comment. "There you go Reg!", Jacobs encourages, "Everyone wants to help you eh!" "SssO back to my question, DO you want transfer eh?", I ask, again mocking Jacobs. "I WOULD REALLY like to be able to be around I'Aisha, Tom and cute, little Patrick Roo without breaking out in a cold sweat! AND from what I can see, the Universe IS filled with cats so . . . NO! I DON'T want a transfer Commander!", Lieutenant Commander Katz replies. "Very well!", I begin, turning to Jacobs a continue, "I will leave it up to you to pet Security-Chief and I believe you ssshould keep Reg and him FARrr apart for foreseeable future!" "Not a problem Sef!", Jacobs replies. Finally, turning to Lieutenant Commander Katz, "Reg, rrremember, my doorrr is always open! I am happy to assist you in ANY way I can."
Things have a way of getting back to normal very quickly on FI-9 and with in a few weeks everything is running as smoothly as usual, oh well (sigh). As the News Stalker on Ferasa predicted, I have been asked to do what I can to assist the Patriarchy in their efforts to open up their territory to more contact? NOT an easy assignment! The Patriarchy is sending a Lord Gurr-Riit to tour the station and have a meeting. Musing to myself, I think the Kzinti are as Humophobic as Reg is Ailurophobic. That leads me to wonder how he is progressing in his hunt to lick his problem and gives me an idea.
"What do you think Sarrah?", I ask. "A reception? Like the one we attended on Ferasa? At the memorial service Sef?", Sarrah questions back. "No, not that elaborate, just sssimple meal, here in our quarters, just you and I, Jacobsss and Reg, and maybe Doctorrr Selarrr.", I explain, "I want to sssee how Reg'sss fight against hisss fearrr is progressing." "I think I can arrange that, when?", Sarrah questions. "I will have to check with guestsss but maybe after watch day afterrr tomorrow?", I answer as Sarrah nods.
The Door Announce squeaks and answering it I find Jacobs and Reg. Looking around, Jacobs asks, "Are we early?" "No, rrright on time.", I answer. "As good guests should be!", Selar adds as she follows Jacobs who is pulling Reg inside. Getting everyone settled Jacobs announces, "I'll play Bartender! Sef you want a Squeak Ale right AND Doctor you want a glass of that fruity Vulcan wine? What do you want Sarrah, Reg?" "I will have a glass of sour milk thank you.", Sarrah replies. "And you Reg?", Jacobs asks. "Squeak Ale? Sour Milk?", Reg repeats softly and then says, "Oh! A Screwdriver Commander!" " A Screwdriverrr?", I say with surprise, "There isss no equipment that needsss rrrepair Reg." Jacobs explains that THIS Screwdriver is constructed of a liquid called vodka combined with the juice of a fruit called an orange. Jacobs makes the request to the Replicator and passes out the drinks as they appear. Reg, nervous but not as bad as at other times is also restless and after getting his drink, he gets up and begins moving about the room. "You have some interesting carvings Commander.", Reg comments studying my collection. "You seem surprised Commander.", Selar comments. "Well it's just I never considered a cat collecting anything except dead mice and birds.", Reg replies. Seeing a pained look on Jacobs face and a raised eyebrow on Selar's I say, "Well forrr creature that had to ssspend most of itsss waking momentsss looking forrr food those "collections" were important but as with Humansss, when we had progressed enough to assure ourrr sssurvival more easy, we began collecting thingsss of lesss practical purpose." "Is this a real Catrellan War Pole Sitter!", Reg asks as he continues to inspect my collection. "Yesss it isss.", I answer, "You ssseem to know much about carvingsss." "Well maybe not a lot but I remember Capt'n Don telling me how once one had been stolen and how every civilian ship captain in the quadrant had been alerted to be on the look out for it!", then looking at Jacobs' expression, "Not that I am suggesting you had anything to do with that Commander!" "Actually I WASss involved AND that Isss the very Pole Sitter!", I respond to shocked looks all around, "I was asked by my friend, Catrellan Chief to recoverrr carving. I did and he gave it to me forrr sssave keeping."
All awkwardness aside, the evening went well and I think Lieutenant Commander Katz, had a good time.
The Kzinti vessel carrying Lord Gurr-Riit arrives the next afternoon and I get ready for our meeting. I expect him and his staff to beam over but at the last minute I was surprised to learn he would be arriving by Shuttle. Apparently Humans are NOT the only creatures that dislike Transporters I think, remembering a Doctor of a ship I once served on! A grumpy Human from the a place called "the south".
Sarrah comes up behind Lieutenant Commander Katz in the corridor and grabs him by his uniform top. "Come with me!", she commands as he struggles to get free of her claws. "WHAT? HEY? Sarrah what are you doing!?", he sputters in panic. Sarrah is smaller than most Kzinti Kzinrrets BUT as I once heard a Human describe her, "Built Like a Brick Cat Box!". I had to consult Jacobs on the description which she said meant the Human thought she was powerfully and strongly built. She pulls Lieutenant Commander Katz along with her and says, "We will be needed Commander!" Further along the corridor they encounter Security-Chief and before he can say anything, Sarrah commands, "Yebp (come)! T'kzintar (warrior)!" Not understanding exactly why but filled with curiosity, he follows.
A still struggling Lieutenant Commander Katz finally breaks free of Sarrah's claws as they reach FI-9's Shuttle Bay. "Ok! What . . .", he begins and is cut off by the sound of a LOT of metal smashing against metal and the station's Kzinti Klaxons going off! The three rush into the Shuttle Bay, as they do, Lieutenant Commander Katz realizes he has been walking along side Security-Chief for some time! His stomach ties itself into knots and he breaks out into a cold sweat!
Chaos is the order of the day in the Shuttle Bay! Two Kzinti Shuttles have tried to land. The one carrying Lord Gurr-Riit, his assistant and his guards landed safely but the other has not. It is sitting upright but at an angle to the Landing Target and smoke is poring out of its open hatch. No one is moving, Sarrah thinks as she sizes up the situation. Seeing three intruders, Lord Gurr-Riit's guards move to stop them. Sarrah ignores them and pulling Lieutenant Commander Katz along, heads for the Shuttle's Hatch. As Security-Chief holds back the Kzinti Guards, Sarrah enters the Shuttle, Lieutenant Commander Katz yelling something about an immanent explosion follows her in. The smoke is thick and acrid, Sarrah tends to the Shuttle's pilot as Lieutenant Commander Katz strains to see what the rest of the compartment holds. Then he freezes! Sarrah sees this and pauses helping the pilot to see why. Through the smoke and flame she sees the frightened faces of a young Kzinrret and her baby. They are trapped by some fallen wreckage in the back of the Shuttle close to where the fire is. "Help them Commander!", Sarrah growls. Lieutenant Commander Katz, rooted to the spot, his mouth dry, his palms sweating, his stomach churning whispers, horsily, "I can't!" "If you do not, they will die Commander!", Sarrah states flatly as she helps the pilot out of his seat and toward the hatch. Lieutenant Commander Katz looks into the frightened, feline faces of the Kzinrret and her baby. All of a sudden their faces are replaced by those of I'Aisha and little Patrick! He moves toward them, hoping the Kzinrret doesn't panic. He sees her make a move and stops. She picks up her Kit and holds it out toward him, her eyes pleading for him to take it! He does and carries the squirming, mewing bundle to the hatch and gently places it on the deck where there is cool, smoke-free, air. He then turns for the mother! "CHSS (no)! CHSS (no)!", he thinks he hears her saying but Kzinrrets can't talk forgetting about Sarrah for a moment! But whatever the sounds she is making, the meaning is clear as she violently shakes her head. "No baby is going to grow up without a mother! Not if I can help it!", he says to the Kzinrret, not caring whether or not she can understand him. He grabs the fallen wreckage, he will have to shift it slightly for the thankfully smallish Kzinrret to squeeze by. To late he realizes it is red hot! He stifles a scream as the material sears into his flesh, not wanting to panic the Kzinrret any more than she already is. Clearing a path, he grabs the Kzinrret's paw and pulls her toward the hatch. He pushes her out, stoops down to grab the Kit and jumps. He pushes the Kzinrret to the deck and joins her, his body covering the Kits just as the Shuttle's interior explodes and a blowtorch like ball of flame erupts from its hatch!
Lieutenant Commander Katz lays, face down on the deck. His hands feel like they are on fire but he doesn't move! Beneath him a squirming Kzinti Kit is mewing, LOUDLY! All of a sudden there are hands, covered with fur! They help him up. Looking he sees other hands helping the young Kzinrret up. Hands gathers up the Kit and return it to its mother. Her hands hold it tight to her body. Sarrah is busy checking everyone for injuries. The Pilot was stunned by the impact but thanks to Kzinti physiology is not seriously injured. The Kit and its mother have breathed some of the smoke but not enough to have a long lasting effect. Examining Lieutenant Commander Katz, Sarrah says," We need to get you to Sick Bay! Security-Chief!" As Security-Chief joins them, " Katz-Lieutenant Commander is injured, help me get him to Sick Bay!"
With Security-Chief steadying Lieutenant Commander Katz, and Lieutenant Commander Katz not caring he is being held by a Kzinti, the group try and exit the Shuttle Bay but their way is blocked by Kzinti. "Out of our way!", Security-Chief orders Lord Gurr-Riit's guards, "This Human is injured and the Doctor wants him taken to Sick Bay!" "Doctor?", Lord Gurr-Riit's Assistant-One questions, "That is a Kzinrret!" Both Security-Chief and Sarrah let out a low growl and get ready to fight when, "Is there a problem here?", Lord Gurr-Riit questions, "Allow these Federation Personel do their job Assistant-One!" "But . . . My Lord! What about the Kzinrret?", Assistant-One asks in panic. "What Kzinrret?", Lord Gurr-Riit questions, "All I see here are three T'kzintar (warrior) I owe much to! Let them leave with my everlasting gratitude!"
As the doors open and Lieutenant Commander Katz, Sarrah and Security-Chief exit, other Federation Personnel including Me rush in. As things calm down, Lord Gurr-Riit whispers to Me, "D'Sefet-Commander, I need to speak with you in private." I nod in acknowledgment as I direct the Emergency Response Team.
"Some Engineer you are Reg!", Jacobs chides as she regards her assistant as he lies in a bed in Sick Bay an hour or so later, "Never heard of the laws of Thermal Conduction eh! Now look at you! Out of commission AND with that mess in the Shuttle Bay to clean up!" "Oh Commander!", Lieutenant Commander Katz replies, "With all that was happening at that moment, I was lucky to remember which way was up! By the way, do you know how the Kzinrret and her baby are?" "Why not asks Karie yourself Commander?", a familiar female Kzinti voice asks. Jacobs and Reg look to see stepping through the Sick Bay doors are Commander D'Sefet, Sarrah and clutching her baby tightly, the little Kzinrret, Karie. Without warning, Karie hands her baby to Sarrah and jumps into the bed with Lieutenant Commander Katz. She pins him to the bed and begins to "mark" him as Humans describe it, in other words rub her forhead and chin on parts of Lieutenant Commander Katz's body. All the while saying over and over, "Thank you My Lord! Thank you My Lord!" For someone with a sever case of Ailurophobia, that IS either his WORST nightmare or proof he has "Licked" it, I think and wonder which it is. I do not have long to wait, as Lieutenant Commander Katz lifts his bandaged arms, wraps them around Karie's body and holds her tight to his chest, "Are you and the baby ok?" Karie answer is to gently nip at Lieutenant Commander Katz's exposed skin. After a few moments I ask, "Reg can I ssspeak with you privately?" "Go a head Commander.", Sarrah says to Lieutenant Commander Katz, "I want to check Karie and her daughter for any ill effects of that smoke!"
"It looks asss if you have "Licked" yourrr fearrr Reg.", I observe. "I had no other option Commander!", Lieutenant Commander Katz replies. "True. But how do you feel toward Karie and herrr Kit?", I press. "I'm not sure what you are asking Commander.", Lieutenant Commander Katz answers. "I have never been good at Whacking around Shrub (Beating around the Bush SEF!), no Felinoid isss so . . . Do you want Karie as mate Reg?", I ask. "WHAT?!", Lieutenant Commander Katz responds, "A MATE! She HAS a mate, doesn't she?" "Herrr Kzintosh was killed ssshortly afterrr they were mated.", I answer. "I thought Lord Gurr-Riit was her mate or owner or whatever the Kzinti call it!", Lieutenant Commander Katz says. "Lord Gurr-Riit wasss fatherrr of herrr mate.", I inform, "He isss frightened forrr Karie and herrr Kit, you saw that she iss Intelligent One like Sarrah. And herrr Kit ssshows sssigns of intelligence also." "I don't understand Commander.", Lieutenant Commander Katz answers, his mind spinning. I try to explain to Lieutenant Commander Katz about what I know about the Black Priests and how under Kzinti Law, ANY Kzinrret of ANY age showing signs of higher intelligence is killed. I also says that, "This isss why Lord Gurr-Riit brought Karie and herrr kit along with him, in hopes of finding herrr 'Federation' mate." "WOW Commander!", Lieutenant Commander Katz begins, "When you don't beat around the bush, YOU REALLY DON'T!" "Like I sssaid Felinoidsss ARE bad at it. It not like you would have to ch'rowl (have sex/mate) with herrr Reg, if you did not want to, what ssshe needsss is sssort of an owner to care forrr herrr like Kzintosh would.", I say. "Ch'rowl (have sex/mate) with her Commander?", Lieutenant Commander Katz asks fearfully. "Yesss to mate with, oh what DO you humans sssay? Oh yesss, to have sssex with.", is my shocking answer, "I can not orderrr you to except herrr and herrr kit Reg, I would NOT even if I could! If you do not want herrr, I have promised Lord Gurr-Riit I will try and find sssomeone before he hasss to leave and take Karie and herrr kit back with him to Patriarchy. He isss worried that even with hisss high rrrank he will not be able to protect them much longerrr." Lieutenant Commander Katz is stunned as he puts Commander D'Sefet's proposal into Human terms! An instant family! A wife and child to care for and . . . LOVE? AND to top it off a KZINTI wife and daughter to boot! What would Capt'n Don say? What would I'Aisha say? Finally Lieutenant Commander Katz realizes there is ONLY one other that has a say. "Karie, would you come here?", he asks as he gets out of bed. Karie followed by Jacobs and Sarrah holding the baby come, "Yes My Lord Katz?" "Do you understand what is being arraigned for you and your daughter?", Lieutenant Commander Katz questions. "Yes My Lord! I know, Lord Gurr-Riit is trying to protect my kit. She is the only kit of his only kit. PLEASE My Lord Katz! I care little what happens to me and if you do not want me I understand but PLEASE take my Kit!", Karie pleads. Do you remember what I said to you in the Shuttle after I got the baby to safety and came for you?",Lieutenant Commander Katz asks Karie. "I remember trying to tell you to leave me and get my kit to safety and you saying something in Human I could not understand at the time My Lord.", Karie answers. "I said, No baby is going to grow up without a mother! Not if I can help it! And . . . I believe a baby should have a father too. So if you if you can stand to be around this Human . . .", is all Lieutenant Commander Katz can say before Karie throws her arms around him and rubbing her chin across his chest, accepts his proposal. "Just one thing Karie.", Lieutenant Commander Katz adds. "What is that My Lord?", Karie asks. I'm NOT a Lord. I'm NOT even a full Commander! My name is Reginald Thomas Katz! Please call me Reg!", Lieutenant Commander Katz requests. "Yes My Lor . . . Reg.", Karie answers as she worships him with her sparkling cat's eyes and he gently strokes the orange stripped fur between her umbrella-like ears with his bandaged hand.
"You know Sef, I never got around to testing the space worthiness of the Volga after its repair after we crash landed it.", Jacobs begins, "Reg isn't going to be much good to me here but to earn his pay maybe he could take her out for a few days of Space Trials." "Of course he will need a nurse to go along.", Sarrah comments, adding, "Karie you have some experience in caring for helpless individuals correct?" "Come on Commander! You not making sure a Runabout is NOT in top condition!", Lieutenant Commander Katz says. "Do not question your superiors Reg!", Karie quickly advises. "Good advice, ssshe will add Riit to yourrr name in no time Reg!', I observe, adding, "And I just happened to notice S.S. Hanford isss scheduled forrr an extended lay overrr in Federation port not to farrr from here!" "Reg-Riit.", Karie says, "I like the name! "Speaking of names, I think our daughter should have one too! Don't you?" Lieutenant Commander Katz discovers THAT IS A BAD thing to suggest, especially around three females!" All of a sudden, he is surrounded by Karie, Sarrah and Jacobs, all throwing names at him!
Station Log Supplemental:
Lord Gurr-Riit has returned to the Patriarchy to advise the Patriarch on the New Openness. It is going to take a while before anything substantial comes from this and other meetings BUT, it is a good sign that there ARE more meetings planned!
It turns out Lieutenant Commander Katz is a VERY traditional Human and asked me to marry Karie and him right in the Sick Bay. Jacobs, being what Humans call a "romantic" was not happy with the impersonal setting so an hour later a small gathering was held on the Holodeck as it ran a wooded environment program. There I preformed the Human, Federation version of the Pledging Ceremony.
Lieutenant Commander Katz, wife and kit are still testing the space worthiness of the Volga. I understand he met up with his relative, Capt'n Don, commanding the S.S. Hanford and spent a pleasant time visiting him and his family. He told me to inform Jacobs and Sarrah that they decided on Kleio as the name of their Kzinti daughter. Although after reviewing a little Kzinti data, Reg said he calls her his Little Terrenkrret (Terrenk - A rather strong, fast animal that fights ferociously when cornered and Rett - Female.) The name Kleio intrigue me, it did not sound Kzinti so I looked it up. It is Greek, it means, the Proclaimer! and is the name of the Greek muse/goddess of history. I hope that one day these talks with Gurr-Riit will give her something wonderful to proclaim!
I stop recording and call up a picture of Sarrah on the computer. Four saved I think. How many more I wonder. Then . . . How many lost I shudder!