months after "Crystal Structures"]
thought you--" Doc stopped dead at the vision of swinging
flowing blue-green silk that turned out to be Niko in a very
feminine summer dress. Instead of swiveling completely around to
lay his boots back on his desk as he'd planned originally, he set
them to the ground and attempted to get up. "Wow. I'm
such a fuss, Doc," she said with a laugh. "I'm only
here to pick up my company to the cinema up."
dress in the darkness a cinema is a waste," Doc said with
deepest conviction. He frowned. "What did I say? A felony!"
He put his hand over his heart in a theatrical gesture. "You
can't do that--"
calm. I'm sure Shane will agree to have a sundae afterwards,"
she grinned, locking eyes with the ST. "Are you
again," Zach grumbled, spotting a red-blinking icon on his
screen. He clicked it and saw his fears confirmed. "The
board turned down his application for a civilian afternoon
again." He looked at Shane. "I'm sorry. You have
"Yes, Goose. I'm
sure--" Doc began-- and stopped when the ST just shrugged,
opened a desk drawer and pulled a pale yellow form out -- without
trashing any furniture.
silence lasted for a moment while Goose's lightpen whizzed over
the transparency, filling it out.
Goose... you do know that you can't leave the base without having
official permission, don't you?" Doc asked
Goose didn't even
look up, just continued scribbling.
sure does, Doc." Niko left the entrance to the office and
finally let the door slide shut behind her.
not like this is the first time this has happened, is
She looked towards
Zach. "What's their excuse for not granting it this time?"
she asked him.
He scanned the
document quickly. "'Possible threat to
threat to public safety.'" Goose said dryly, looking up from
his form. "Their standard excuse. Or did you expect a bunch
of senators to come up with something witty?" He tapped his
lightpen against the form.
your reason this time, Niko?"
she thought a moment. "I'm afraid of the dark."
that's the cinema. And the sundae?"
of people and... agoraphobia," she smiled. "You can sit
outside in the ice cream shop."
He signed the form lazily, got up and tossed it over to Zach
while heading for Niko. "I've got a mission the next four
Zach scanned it
quickly. "Good. Agoraphobia without an 'n' after the first
A. It's no rabbit-phobia," he grinned and x-ed the letter
"I'll keep that in
mind for the next time."
offered Niko his arm. "Shall we?"
otherwise we'll miss the beginning of the film."
what movie is playing?" Zach called after them.
raised an astonished eyebrow, looking back at his captain. "Since
when is that important?" Niko next to him giggled as the
door slid shut behind them.
frowned. "But I thought his application was turned down?"
he asked hesitatingly. "Why can he leave with her
"Because he is on duty, Doc." He waved the pale yellow
form in the air.
asked for 'personal protection,' -- and he was available and I
second. He *can't take* her to a movie because he's a threat to
public safety, but he *can accompany* her to a movie to guarantee
about it." Zachary snickered quietly.
that's an afternoon with movies and a sundae for the two of
them." Zach grinned.
an exposition, the national forest, museums, theater, live shows,
circus... though Niko mentioned once that the ticket sellers
would look a bit edgy at his openly carried blasters."
guess the outdoor swimming pool would be problematic," Doc
shrugged. "BETA's installations are better anyway."
thanks go to Elizabeth 'fatima' Bales-Stutes for editing this.